The new year starts well. North Korean authorities, in fact, signal that leader Kim Jong may visit China, the biggest benefactor of the country. The aim of this visit should be whether he will end his boycott of international nuclear disarmament talks. There is still hope on Earth!
News published in “news”
To make sure we're spending our defense dollars wisely, we're cutting tens of billions of dollars in waste and projects that even the military says it doesn't need — money better spent on taking care of you and your families and building the 21st century military that we do need. (IBN)
Wise speech of Barack Obama before signing the defense bill this week. The bill, which funds Pentagon operations, had authorized a few unnecessary programs. Mr Obama allocated "only" USD 560 million this year.
Once signed the bill, the law will raise military pay by 3.4 % and assign USD 6.7 billion for mine-resistant armored vehicles. Another USD 7.5 billion will be used for the Afghan army. Apparently, Obama has not planned to solve the Afghan situation by political means yet.
China plans to spend billions of dollars in the next few years to develop media and entertainment companies that it hopes can compete with global giants like the News Corporation and Time Warner (The New York Times).
Apparentely, China wants to backup its rising status and power worldwide creating entertainment, news and culture companies market-oriented, giving less voice - at least a public voice - to the government.
The way to capitalism and imperialism is paved by entertainment: any big difference between China and the "bread and circuses" of the Roman Empire?
An scary news published on France 24:
The presidents of seven ex-Soviet states are meeting in Kyrgyzstan to discuss implementing the first joint rapid-reaction force of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a military alliance led by Russia, intended as a counterweight to NATO. (Continue)
It is clear that the Russian Federation is seeking a new, stronger international role after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Will we come back to the times of the Cold War?
The house of the archeologist Ramdas Sen (1845 -1887) in Baharampur, West Bengal, declared by the state government as a heritage building, will be demolished. This is the house where the famous Bengali writer, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya, author of the national song of India Vande Mataram, organised a literary circle and first published his magazine, Banga-Darshan, with support of Ramdas. A shopping centre on the spot of the demolished portion of the building will be built. This is the full article.
The Indian elections 2009 are reaching a crescendo with the growth of the BJP. The 15th Lok Sabha, which is is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of the adult suffrage, is elected in five phases on April 16, April 22-April 23, April 30, May 7 and May 13.
According to the DNA (Daily News & Analysis) "the Congress and the BJP are locked in a fierce fight for emerging as the single largest party at the end of three rounds of polling. [...] There are two reasons for the BJP's surge. One, the party seems to have retained ground in its core areas like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Two, it is expected to register gains in Jharkhand, Bihar and Assam. However, the surge is likely to halt in the next two phases when its loss areas, Rajasthan and Punjab, will poll".
The results of the election will be announced on May 16, 2009.
It has just been released the Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto for the 15th Lok Sabha (National Parliament) elections (April 16, April 22, April 23, April 30, May 7 and May 13, 2009). It is titled Good Governance, Development, Security (here the full English text in pdf).
According to the historic leit-motif of the party, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, the leading BJP member who signes the manifesto, underlines wealth and originality on India civilization through the centuries, and claims for the nation a prominent role worldwide.
The USA president Mr Barack Obama said that he would move 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan by this Summer.
Nevertheless, Pakistani intelligence officials say suspected US missiles have hit an alleged Taliban compound near the border with Afghanistan.