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.
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.
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.
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.
THE Left members of the European parliament are organised as GUE/NGL (The European Left/Nordic Green Left) under the presidentship of Die Linke (German Left Party) which has the largest representation in the European parliament. GUE/NGL organised a seminar on 'China in the 21st Century – Present and Future' on June 6-7, 2013 at the European parliament in Brussels.
THE results of the closely contested general elections, held on May 5, have come as a stark revelation of the highly polarised nature of Malaysian politics. Though the united opposition won over 50 per cent of the votes, it could not even manage to secure a simple majority in the national legislature. Some 85 per cent of the country’s 13.3 million voters had turned out to cast their ballots in what was being described as a “watershed” election.
THE latest round of talks to resolve the long running dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme seem to have once again ended without making much progress. The talks, the second within a short span of time, had taken place in the salubrious climes of Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, in early April. The venue was carefully chosen, as Kazakhstan had positioned itself as an honest broker between the West and Iran.