Archive for the ‘unrest.’ Category

Where in the World Is Matt Lauer? In The Tank With Obama…

March 13, 2009

Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?  Easy: he’s holed up at the liberal bastion: NBC (National Barack Channel).

He won’t be travelling the world this spring because so many people in the world blame the U.S. for the global recession and even more are starting to worry that Barack Obama can’t make things better soon enough.

Matt can’t go to Rome: he’s pro-abortion and the Pope is there.  Matt can’t go to China, where 20 million migrants are out of jobs and the government fears “social unrest.”  Matt can’t go to Tibet: the Chinese will have a fit.  Even after Barack Obama gave up on human rights abuses in Chinese, their Premier said he’s worried about buying more U.S. Treasuries.  Matt can’t go to Britain: Obama “snubbed” their PM and the Brit media has taken up the Welcome Mat, Matt.

Matt can’t go to Japan after the Japanese got the feeling Obama was getting soft on North Korea.

Matt can’t go to Switzerland.  The Swiss are nervous after scores of new Yanks arrived to avoid paying higher taxes in the U.S. — and because congress wants Switzerland to allow them to find out who these Yanks are….

Matt can’t go to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan — despite the fact that Obama loves them all, they are too dangerous; filled with guys the Obama Administration won’t name.

Hint: terrorists.

There just are too few places for poor Matt Lauer to go. 

Even Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the U.N. called the U.S. a “deadbeat nation.”

So the trip is cancelled.

Related:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.p
hp?id=D96T995O3&show_article=1

Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

Obama Back Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

 Fleeing Obama’s Taxes in Switzerland

 Pakistan: Circling The Drain?

Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

http://americaswatchtower.com/2009/03/13/ene
rgy-companies-make-plans-to-move-to-switzerlan
d-to-avoid-obamas-taxes/

Obama’s 52 Mistakes in 52 days:
http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2009/0
3/13/don-surber-is-being-generous-52-days
-52-obama-mistakes/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
3/52-days-52-mistakes/

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber
/2009/03/12/52-days-52-mistakes/

Top U.S. Military Leader Offers Help to Mexico; Briefs Obama

March 7, 2009

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques after returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels.

Mexico could borrow from U.S. tactics in the fight against terrorism as it battles a crisis of drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques.

Adm. Mike Mullen would not be specific about what kind of intelligence or surveillance help the United States might offer, but said he saw ways to employ experience the United States has gained in the ongoing hunt for extremists and terrorists.

He would not say whether there may already be U.S. drones flying over bloodstained cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where 17 bodies came into the morgue on one day recently, including the city police force’s second-in-command and three other officers.

“Obviously it affects us because of the relationship between the two countries,” Mullen said during a telephone news conference as he flew to Washington following meetings in Mexico, his last stop.

Mullen referred to the spike in violence as a crisis, and said it occupied much of his discussions with Mexican military leaders.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence this year. In 2008, the toll doubled from the previous year to 6,290. Both the U.S. and Canada have warned that murders related to drug activity in certain parts of Mexico, particularly along the border with the U.S., raised the level of risk in visiting the country.

There are signs the violent competition among Mexican drug and smuggling cartels is spilling across the border, as cities in Arizona report increases in such crimes as home invasions. More than 700 people were arrested as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating inside the United States, the Justice Department said last month.

Last weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he also saw opportunities for the U.S. military to help with military training, resources and intelligence.

“I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past. Some of the old biases against cooperation with our — between our militaries and so on, I think, are being set aside,” Gates said in an interview that aired last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It clearly is a serious problem,” he said.

Related:
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/o
bama-mullen-discuss-mexicos-drug-wars/

******

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

President Barack Obama was briefed Saturday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen about the drug wars in Mexico and wanted to know how the United States can help.

“Clearly one of the things the president was interested in was the U.S military capability that may or may not apply to our cooperation with the Mexicans,” said a U.S. military official who requested anonymity because the discussions were private. “He was very interested in what kind of military capabilities may be applied.”

Mullen briefed Obama Saturday morning about discussions with Mexican military leaders about the drug wars there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
8/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mexico_9

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/america
s/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/index.html

http://mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com/200
9/03/03/factbox-ciudad-juarez-mexicos-m
ost-violent-city/

Oil refinery strikes: Protests over foreign workers

January 30, 2009

The world economy is causing even more friction among different groups…

************

Thousands of workers across Britain have walked out following protests over the use of foreigners at a Lincolnshire oil refinery.

By Stephen Adams
Telegraph (UK)
.
About 700 employees at the Ineos-owned Grangemouth plant on the Firth of Forth have begun an unofficial strike in solidarity with fellow energy workers at the Total Lindsey Oil Refinery on the North Lincolnshire coast. They have been joined by many hundreds more in Teeside, South Wales and other energy plants across Scotland.

The demonstrations has led to scenes reminiscent of the industrial disputes of the 1970s with hundreds of placard-waving protesters watched by ranks of police.

Staff at the Lindsey refinery originally began their strike on Wednesday to protest at Total’s decision to award a £200 million construction contract to Italian firm Irem, using foreign labour.

The refinery covers 500 acres and is the third largest in the UK, processing 10 million tonnes of crude per year – 200,000 barrels per day.

It is understood 100 Italian and Portuguese workers are currently on the site. They are expected to be joined by 300 more next month.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said the angry workers were “entitled to an answer”.

Earlier this month Shona McIsaac, the Labour MP for Cleethorpes, said that awarding the contract to a firm using foreign labour was like “a red rag to a bull”.

“Although I’m told there are no redundancies arising from the contract going to the Italian company, if you are out of work, it can seem so unfair,” she added.

Total has stressed that Irem staff will be paid at UK nationally agreed levels for the engineering construction industry, under the same terms and conditions as agreed with unions for the existing contractor workforce.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopi
cs/recession/4397237/Oil-refinery-strikes-Thou
sands-protest-over-foreign-workers.html

Protests across Britain over foreign workers

The refinery covers 500 acres and is the third largest in the UK Photo: NORTH NEWS

Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

January 8, 2009

About 600,000 migrant workers left south China‘s industrial heartland last year as the economic crisis caused exports to shrink and forced factories to close, a senior official said Thursday.

The number of migrants departing Guangdong province, one of the world’s top makers of toys and electronic appliances, accelerated through 2008 as the global situation worsened, said provincial deputy governor Huang Longyun.

by Peter Harmsen, AFP

About 600,000 migrant workers left south China's industrial ... 
About 600,000 migrant workers left south China’s industrial heartland of Guangdong last year as the economic crisis caused exports to shrink and forced factories to close, a senior official has said.(AFP/Peter Parks)

“This year the situation is more serious than at any other time since the start of the decade, indeed since the Asian financial crisis,” he told a briefing in Beijing, referring to regional turmoil that broke out in 1997.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090108/bs_afp/fina
nceeconomychinaguangdonglabour_newsmlmmd

China seen facing wave of unrest in 2009

January 6, 2009

China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.

The unusually stark report in this week’s Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said faltering growth could spark anger among millions of migrant workers and university graduates left jobless.

By Chris Buckley
Reuters

A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at ... 
A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at a railway station in Taiyuan, Shanxi, January 4, 2009. China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.REUTERS/Stringer

“Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,” a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.”

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a “harmonious society,” but his promise is being tested by rising tension over shrinking jobs and incomes, as well as long-standing anger over corruption and land seizures.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090106/
wl_nm/us_china_unrest_6

Russia Confronts Prospect of Real Political Instability

January 3, 2009

Uncertainty is creeping up on Russia. For the first time since Vladimir Putin‘s rise to power, Moscow confronts the prospect of real political instability. One of Russia’s savviest politicians, Anatoly Chubais, said last month that the likelihood of serious turmoil — economic, social and even political — is 50 percent.

The current crisis is global, and there is no sure way to forecast its length or depth. Such uncertainty would be disturbing in any country but is especially alarming here. For years, Putin steadily eliminated all political threats to his power, and by the end of his second term as president he enjoyed absolute authority. Now that authority is being challenged by forces beyond his control.

By Masha Lipman
The Washington Post

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seen here, warned Ukraine ... 
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seen here, warned Ukraine on Wednesday of “severe consequences” if it disrupted gas supplies to Europe, as another New Year’s Eve energy dispute went down to the wire.(AFP/RIA/File/Alexey Nikolsky)

Putin was blessed with rising energy prices that enabled him to build his oil-greased authoritarianism. He delivered generously to the nation, and the people readily withdrew from politics and rewarded him with high approval ratings. Likewise, the Russian elite stayed loyal, since the abundant oil revenue produced lucrative opportunities….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/c
ontent/article/2009/01/02/AR20090102
02080.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Analysis: Israeli politics lies behind Gaza attacks

December 28, 2008

The people of Sderot, a small town in southern Israel a few miles from the Gaza Strip, have 15 seconds to take cover whenever the wail of sirens gives warning of another rocket attack.

By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor
The Telegraph (UK)

Palestinians try to dig out the remains of a security force ... 
Palestinians try to dig out the remains of a security force officer from Hamas as he lays in the rubble following an Israeli missile strike on a building in Gaza City,Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008. More than 270 Palestinians have been killed and more than 600 people wounded since Israel’s campaign to quash rocket barrages from Gaza began midday Saturday, Palestinian medical sources said.(AP Photo/Fadi Adwan)

For almost five years, this has been their daily ordeal and Sderot’s bus stops have been specially reinforced to serve as armoured shelters from the regular salvoes fired out of Gaza.

With a general election due on Feb 10, no Israeli government could afford to appear indifferent to this threat, especially as Palestinian fighters are deploying rockets with longer ranges and heavier warheads, with some weapons capable of hitting the port of Ashdod 20 miles from Gaza. In all, some 500,000 Israelis live within range of Gaza’s rockets.

The political imperative to act undoubtedly lay behind Israel’s decision to launch the attack. It will have weighed most heavily on the minds of Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and leader of the centrist Kadima party, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister and leader of the Labour party.

Both will be fighting the election against Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister from the right-wing Likud party. As they enter this contest, neither can afford to appear anything but hawkish.

Yet the scale of the response exposes Israel to international criticism. Almost 300 Palestinians have been killed in the last two days alone. By contrast, rockets fired from Gaza have killed 17 Israeli civilians in the last seven years.

An Israeli soldier stands on the hood of a military vehicle ...
An Israeli soldier stands on the hood of a military vehicle near the border with the Gaza Strip December 28, 2008. Israel pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip from the air on Sunday for a second day and prepared for a possible invasion after killing nearly 290 Palestinians in the opening rounds of a fierce offensive. Despite the assault, militants fired some 80 rockets into Israel, emergency services said.REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL)

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldn
ews/middleeast/israel/3999523/Analysis
-Israeli-politics-lies-behind-Gaza-attacks.html

Russia Braced for Unrest Following Devaluations

December 28, 2008

Russia is bracing for further unrest as the rouble on Friday slid to a new low against the euro after a succession of moves to devalue its currency.

A cut on Friday extended six weeks of devaluations by Russia’s central bank designed to offset the impact of the global economic crisis and falling oil prices as the country’s main export commodity approached its lowest level since 2004.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, warned Russia faced “unprecedentedly difficult and dangerous circumstances” and could be “heading into a black hole”. “It is not clear what the fate of our rouble will be or if society has sufficient financial and moral resources,” he said.

After the depreciation, which was the eighth so far this month, the rouble declined as much as 1.2 per cent to Rbs29.06 versus the dollar on Friday, a four year low. The rouble has now lost nearly 20 per cent of its value against the US currency since August.

By Isabel Gorst in Moscow and Anuj Gangahar in New York
Financial Times

Analysts at Barclays Capital said the best case scenario would see Russian policymakers, facing the mounting evidence of a recession, allowing a one-off depreciation of 10 per cent or more.

The rouble’s slide comes as the government faces scrutiny over its policies. A demonstration earlier this month in the far eastern city of Vladivostok marked the first major challenge to the Kremlin since the onset of the global financial crisis.

Mikhail Sukhodolsky, a deputy interior minister, warned on Christmas Eve that there could be further protests. “The situation may be exacerbated by a growth in frustration of workers over the non-payment of wages or those threatened with dismissal,” he said.

His remarks coincided with criticism of the Kremlin’s rough handling of the protests in Vladivostok. Moscow-based Omon riot police detained about 61 people in the protests against car import duties designed to prop up domestic car producers, but making foreign vehicles prohibitively expensive for ordinary Russians.

Mikhail Kasyanov, the former prime minister who now leads the liberal People’s Democratic Union opposition movement, said that an unspoken social contract between the government and the people, swapping political freedoms for prosperity and consumer goods, had broken down.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fb228bfa-d385
-11dd-989e-000077b07658.html

Related:
Will There Be Riots in Russia?
http://russianreport.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/will-there-be-riots/

China’s Slowing Growth, Unemployment Leads Toward Social Unrest

December 23, 2008

Eight is an important number in China. Its association with good fortune makes it a big hit for license plates and mobile phone numbers. It’s no accident that the Beijing Olympic Games opened on the eighth day of the eighth month in 2008. But the number may have another meaning. If economic growth falls below 8 percent, some say, China’s masses will turn the country into a simmering cauldron of unrest.

That thesis has been bandied about by politicians and economists for years. It could soon be put to the test. In 2009, China’s growth is expected to fall to 7.8 percent, according to HSBC, from almost 12 percent in 2007, driven down by the collapse in China’s exports to the crisis-wracked developed world.

Social unrest is a rising threat in China. Recorded incidents increased almost eightfold from 1994 to 2005, after which the government stopped releasing comparable data. When growth fell to 4 percent, from 11 percent, in 1989, ugly protests erupted. While the state has been tolerant of recent peaceful sit-ins by factory workers, coordinated action might leave only two options: impose order the hard way, or renegotiate the terms of government.

Fortunately, the “theory of eight” is probably wrong. What really matters isn’t how much China’s growth falls, but what happens to unemployment. The two aren’t perfectly linked. A collapse in capital-intensive industries, for example, would have less of an effect on jobs than a more modest decline in lower-value, labor-intensive work. Besides, unemployment isn’t the only reason the masses complain. As they become more prosperous, they are more likely to protest about noneconomic issues like pollution and corruption.

What’s certain is that unemployment is rising. Urban joblessness is already at 9.4 percent, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The real figure may be higher, and the official national unemployment figure of 4 percent is almost certainly too low. Export sectors alone account for around 50 million employees, and around 4 million have been laid off this year.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/business/23views.html

Related:
China plans crackdown as economic crisis spurs crime

China’s Migrant Unemployment Sparks New Effort

China Faces Social Unrest As Up To 150 Million Migrants Go Home Without Work

Greek fighting: the eurozone’s weakest link starts to crack

December 10, 2008

The last time I visited Greece, I was caught in the middle of a tear-gas charge by police in Thessaloniki – a remarkably unpleasant experience, if you have not tried it. My eyes were in screaming pain for an hour.
Protesters smashed up the shops on the main drag, broke the windows of my hotel, and torched a few cars.

So the latest four-day episode in Athens and other Greek cities comes as no great surprise. The Greeks are a feisty people. This is meant as a compliment – broadly speaking – just in case any Greek readers should take it the wrong way. Hitler was so impressed by Greek bravery that he accorded Greek soldiers full military honours, almost the sole example among captive nations in the East – or at least professed to do so at first.

That said, these riots are roughly what eurosceptics expected to see, at some point, at the periphery of the euro-zone as the slow-burn effects (excuse the pun) of Europe’s monetary union begin to corrode the democratic legitimacy of governments.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph (UK)

Gallery Photo
Protesters throw stones at police in the Greek city of Thessaloniki

Note two stories in Kathimerini (English Edition)

“Athens riots spin totally out of control”

And an editorial: “Greece has gone up in flames and the concept of democracy and law and order has been eliminated”

Without wanting to rehearse all the pros and cons of euro membership yet again, or debate whether EMU is a “optimal currency area”, there is obviously a problem for countries like Greece that were let into EMU for political reasons before their economies had been reformed enough to cope with the rigours of euro life –  over the long run.

In the case of Greece, of course, Athens was found guilty by Eurostat of committing “statistical achemy” to get into the system – ie, they lied about their deficits.

Be that as it may. Greece’s euro membership has now led to a warped economy. The current account deficit is 15pc of GDP, the eurozone’s highest by far. Indeed, the deficit ($53bn) is the sixth biggest in the world in absolute terms — quite a feat for a country of 11m people.

Year after year of high inflation has eroded the competitive base of the economy. This is an insidious and slow effect, and very hard to reverse. Tourists are slipping away to Turkey, or Croatia. It will take a long time to lure them back.

The underlying rot was disguised by the global credit bubble, and by the Greek property boom. It is now being laid bare.

Greece has a public debt of 93 per cent of GDP, well above the Maastricht limit. This did not matter in 2007 when bond spreads over German Bunds were around 26 basis points, meaning that investors were willing to treat all eurozone debt as more or less equivalent.

Read the rest:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ambrose_evan
s-pritchard/blog/2008/12/10/greek_fightin
g_the_eurozones_weakest_link_starts_to_crack