International

On the US’s Asia Pacific Strategy

THE US has once again reverted to the Asia Pacific region as the focal area in its efforts to assert “full spectrum dominance” and arrest the growing influence of a rising China. It should be remembered that the US has fought two wars in the region since 1950 --- first in the Korean peninsula and later in Indochina. Before that the US army had fought in the Philippines, first against the Spanish colonial rulers and then against the Filipino nationalist forces. The US did of course play a leading role in ousting the Japanese imperial forces from the region during World War II.

WFTU Holds Asia Pacific Regional Meet

THE World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU) held its Asia Pacific Regional (APR) meeting in Port Dickson, Malaysia on October 25-26, 2013. The National Union of Banking Unions (NUBE) hosted the meeting. Around 140 delegates represented some 15 countries and several trade unions internationals (TUIs), the sectoral organisations of WFTU. The countries represented were India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Iran, People’s Republic of China, Sudan and Argentina, some by observers.

Terror Attack in Nairobi

NAIROBI, the capital of Kenya, was among the first major cities to experience an Al Qaeda terror attack. In fact, the 1998 dual attack on the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-as-Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, announced the terror organisation’s arrival on the world stage. This time the terror attack in the Kenyan capital, which started on September 21, was a prolonged and bloody affair which lasted for more than three days.

15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

Below is the text of the press release issued by the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Lisbon, on November 8-10.

THE 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held in Lisbon, on November 8-10, under the motto “The deepening of the crisis of capitalism, the role of the working class and the communists’ tasks in the struggle for the workers and peoples’ rights. Imperialism’s offensive, the realignment of forces at the international level, the national question, class emancipation and the struggle for socialism”.

India 2013 Versus East Asia 1997

ECONOMIST Paul Krugman has recently written a column in The New York Times on the depreciating Indian rupee. He comes to the conclusion that India’s present currency crisis is fundamentally different from the East Asian currency crisis of 1997-8, since India’s debt, denominated in foreign currency, is small compared to what it was for the East Asian economies then. Hence he argues that there is no cause for India to panic; the rupee will depreciate for a while and then settle down, which would mean an upsurge in inflation for a while before prices too settle down.

Bogey of Chemical Weapons in Syria

THE world seems to be moving on two different tracks on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Almost the only narrative in the US is did Assad regime use chemical weapons, but what should be the US response. The evidence of Assad government using chemical weapons needs to be at least plausible, for the world to accept US military strikes. In the rest of the world, barring perhaps only France, there is deep scepticism about such US claims.

Iraq Sliding into Civil War

RECENT months have witnessed a dramatic spurt of killings in Iraq. There have been reports almost every day of dozens of civilians and officials being targeted in sectarian attacks. In April, 700 people were killed, making it the deadliest month in Iraq in the last five years. The month of May was even deadlier as Shia militant groups and the Iraqi army has started to retaliate. The death toll passed the thousand marks. Many of the deadliest attacks have happened in Shia areas and had all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda operations.

CPI(M) Delegation in China

A FIVE-MEMBER delegation of the CPI(M) led by Prakash Karat, general secretary, visited China for a week between June 16 and 22, 2013 at the invitation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The other members of the delegation were A K Padmanabhan, member of the Polit Bureau, Jogendra Sharma, member of the Central Secretariat and P Madhu and Rama Das, members of the Central Committee.

The delegation had discussions with the Central leaders of the CPC in Beijing and visited two provinces – Jiangsu and Henan.

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