Saudi Arabia: Frustration, Petulance and Anger

THE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did something unprecedented in the annals of post-war diplomatic history. It refused to take up its seat in the prestigious UN Security Council after strenuously lobbying for it and winning the support of 176 states. The Saudi foreign ministry had initially declared that the winning of a seat in the Security Council was a historic achievement and a vindication of its stance on issues relating to Syria, Iran and the region. The Saudi ambassador to the UN, Abdullah al Moullami went to the extent of describing it as a “defining moment” in the country’s history.

Libya in Chaos

LIBYA has been surely but steadily sinking into anarchy since the killing of Muammar Gaddafi on October 20, 2011. The regime change, supervised under western military tutelage that followed, has failed to provide either stability or security. If any further proof was needed of the state in which the country finds itself after the death of Gaddafi two years ago, it was graphically provided by the kidnapping of the country’s prime minister, Ali Zeidan, on October 5.

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.


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