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  1. #4036
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Speaking of Colombia...

    Colombia halts air strikes on Farc camps after rebels declare ceasefire
    Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has halted aerial bombings to revive peace talks after leftist rebel group Farc declared a unilateral ceasefire

    Colombia’s government is suspending aerial bombings of guerrilla camps in a bid to de-escalate fighting and breathe new life into struggling peace talks.

    President Juan Manuel Santos made the announcement on Saturday night at a military ceremony in Cartagena, saying the confidence-building move was in response to the decision by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc – Colombia’s most powerful leftist rebel group) to declare a unilateral ceasefire.

    Farc leaders said on 20 July they were resuming a unilateral truce the rebels had suspended two months earlier following an army bombing of one of their camps that left 26 people dead. That raid in turn followed a series of deadly attacks by the Farc, including a nighttime attack on an army platoon that killed 10 soldiers while they were asleep.

    In March, Santos made a similar gamble, banning one of the military’s most-successful tactics in its fight against the rebels in recognition of progress being made at the peace table.

    However, since then, mistrust on both sides has grown as fighting has intensified. For the first time since peace talks began nearly three years ago, polls show that more Colombians favour a military solution to the conflict than a negotiated settlement.

    Reflecting some of the cynicism this time around, Santos said that the ban on aerial bombings could be lifted if Farc camps pose a risk to civilians or infrastructure targets.

    Nonetheless, he tried to frame his move as a bid to accelerate talks after both sides agreed to seek a bilateral ceasefire in the coming months even before a final peace deal is reached.

    “We’ve agreed to de-escalate the conflict,” Santos said. “That means fewer deaths, less suffering and fewer victims.”

    The government and the Farc have already reached agreements on land reform, participation in politics for former rebels and a joint strategy to curb drug trafficking. They’ve also announced a joint effort to remove unexploded landmines.

    But several tough issues remain, the thorniest of which is the rebel negotiators’ demand that they avoid any jail time for atrocities allegedly committed by troops under their command.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...lare-ceasefire

  2. #4037

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Just some notes.
    About 80% of Colombians do not approve of the peace talks. They believe the FARC have to pay in some manner for the crimes committed.
    About 500 Colombians are still held hostages (kidnapped) by the FARC
    The Colombian Government declared an unilateral cease fire on the FARC a few months ago. The FARC responded with some 38 attacks on civilian, military and infrastructure objectives.
    Last. One general point of view is that the FARC do not want to have any peace talks because they are a for profit organization, reaping benefits from the kidnapping of people, the drug trafficking and illegal mining operations. On that last subject, they mine for gold, using traditional, mercury laced mining operations. Highly destructive to the environment, as you know.
    It will be a long, sad day for Colombia if these thugs go free. And most people will not like it.
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

  3. #4038
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Paging suliso!
    *****

    The world is getting better all the time, in 11 maps and charts
    by Zack Beauchamp on July 13, 2015

    Reading the news, it sometimes feels like the world is falling apart: that everything is going to hell in a handbasket and we're on the verge of a total collapse. In fact, we're living through what is, by objective metrics, the best time in human history. People have never lived longer, better, safer, or richer lives than they do now. And these 11 charts and maps which draw on centuries of data, as well as a brand new UN report that focuses on the past 25 years prove it.

    See charts at: http://www.vox.com/2015/7/13/8908397...ime-in-history
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  4. #4039
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    If you feel like being thoroughly depressed:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...fb_ref=Default

  5. #4040
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ2004 View Post
    If you feel like being thoroughly depressed:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...fb_ref=Default
    Yeah, read that earlier today. Pretty enraging, no?
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  6. #4041

    Re: World News Random, Random

    I have no problem with hunting for food. Mindless slaughter of animals to prove what a manly man (or strong woman) you are should not be allowed.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  7. #4042

    Re: World News Random, Random

    What and absolute imbecile.
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

  8. #4043

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Just some notes.
    About 80% of Colombians do not approve of the peace talks. They believe the FARC have to pay in some manner for the crimes committed.
    About 500 Colombians are still held hostages (kidnapped) by the FARC
    The Colombian Government declared an unilateral cease fire on the FARC a few months ago. The FARC responded with some 38 attacks on civilian, military and infrastructure objectives.
    Last. One general point of view is that the FARC do not want to have any peace talks because they are a for profit organization, reaping benefits from the kidnapping of people, the drug trafficking and illegal mining operations. On that last subject, they mine for gold, using traditional, mercury laced mining operations. Highly destructive to the environment, as you know.
    It will be a long, sad day for Colombia if these thugs go free. And most people will not like it.
    People might not like it, but it has to be done that way for any chance of lasting peace. Good Friday agreement to end The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a good example. Total amnesty for everyone was used there as well. Not many on the streets supported it, but without it they would still be blowing up each other to this day. Sometimes you have to sacrifice justice to obtain a greater good...
    4.669 201 609 102 990 671 853 203 821 578

  9. #4044

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Lending Athens a Pot of Gold
    Why Ireland Should Support Greek Debt Relief
    By Stephen Kinsella

    After three long weeks of closure, Greece’s banks are beginning to open their doors to an expectant public. Following tense bailout negotiations, Greece received a seven billion euro ($7.6 billion) bridging loan to pay down 6.8 billion euros ($7.4 million) of the debt it owed last week to its official creditors. Essentially, it’s a new loan to pay off the old one. Or more accurately, it’s paying off the old loan plus interest. But the end of the deadlock has at least returned some normalcy to Greece. Checks can now be cashed. Limited transfers are again possible. Withdrawals are no longer limited to 60 euros ($66) per person per day, although capital controls remain in place, and will for some time. For now, the maximum withdrawal is 420 euros ($460) per day, and money cannot yet leave the country without approval from the finance ministry. This comes at the cost of more fiscal discipline for the Greeks, even though on the whole the country has already endured a level of austerity seen only during times of war or depression.

    In all this, Ireland, a small and open economy that completed its own bailout program only two years ago, has stood shoulder to shoulder with the creditor nations of Europe in denying Greece any debt forgiveness. That is shameful.

    Ireland is now recording some of the fastest growth rates in the eurozone. But during its own crisis, it, like Greece, eventually lobbied heavily for debt relief. In late 2010, Ireland received an 85 billion euro ($94 billion) loan package in exchange for austerity, recapitalizing and restructuring the banking system, and passing structural reforms. At that time, it did not ask for debt relief, and none was offered.

    But two years later, in June 2012, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny began to push for it. He announced that he had made a promise together with European leaders to “break the toxic link between bank debt and sovereign debt” through a debt restructuring that would involve a combination of decreasing the interest rates charged and lengthening the loan repayment periods on some of the debt, perhaps indefinitely, as well as compensating the Irish state for the cost of recapitalizing Ireland’s banks. Over the following year, he continued to argue strongly and publicly that this debt restructuring “could not be reneged on.” He explained, “I’m very clear on this: We are going to get a deal on debt. The nature and scale of the deal is yet to be worked out, but the decision has been made.”

    Then in early 2013, Ireland got debt relief in the form of extremely long-term bonds, which replaces the punishing high interest rate “promissory notes” that the Irish government issued in 2010 to prevent the insolvency of its two largest banks. To this day, Ireland maintains a commitment, at least on paper, to a debt restructure that will return to taxpayers the money they pumped into the banks, even though privately, many fear such an arrangement will never take place, at least not this year. There has been no stated rationale for the delay in starting these negotiations. In September 2012, the ECB established the Outright Monetary Transaction program, a bond-buying scheme to lower the costs of borrowing for debt-laden countries, without engaging in a debt relief discussion.

    Although Ireland will be intensively monitored by the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank) until at least 2018, it has at least escaped the troika’s direct control. And Ireland has done well since. Unemployment is falling below double digits, asset prices are recovering, and investment is rising again as international investors, hungry for yields in a low inflation, low interest rate environment, gobble up assets. It’s all very 2006: It is impossible to get a restaurant reservation these days and traffic jams are back in style. Even though more than 20 percent of all banks’ loans are nonperforming, they no longer have a question mark over their survival.

    But Greece—and its banks—do.

    Greece’s debt is around 180 percent of its GDP. (For comparison, Ireland’s was 123 percent of its GDP in 2014.) For a sense of scale, Greece owes more than 90 billion euros ($99 billion) to Germany alone. It owes around 70 billion euros ($77 billion) to France, and slightly over 61 billion euros ($67 billion) to Italy. The key reason Greece owes so much to its official creditors is that nine of every ten euros loaned to Greece in 2010 went to pay back private debt that should have been restructured at that time.

    (...)

    Either way, Greece faces a medium-term financing problem. As the state reduces in size, more and more austerity is required to balance the books. The result is the kind of downward spiral central banks were created to help stop. But Greece doesn’t have the U.S. Federal Reserve of the 1940s and 1950s, which stabilized the economy by taking an activist approach to monetary policy. It has the European Central Bank, a currency board with aspirations, but little substance.

    The difference in outcomes in Ireland and Greece is also thanks to structural differences in their economies. The proportion of the economy made up of internationally tradable versus non-tradable goods and services in Ireland is much higher than Greece’s. That means that Irish people can earn euros from the rest of the world, not just from each other. To a much greater extent, Greek people only earn euros from each other. So, when a large shock comes along, Ireland is better equipped to weather it than Greece.

    If Ireland’s economic openness is one factor that allowed Ireland to recover more quickly than Greece, there is another, more important reason: Greece has suffered more than double the amount of austerity imposed on Ireland.

    And now, Europe’s creditor countries are forcing Greece to adopt harsh “bail-in” laws, which involve seizing money from depositors who may get hammered should Greece see another credit crunch. In the best-case scenario, the European Stability Mechanism would recapitalize Greek banks—essentially by buying them. These banks would be sold off and effectively privatized, and the ESM would receive the proceeds. But Greece has not seen a best case scenario for some time now. According to the most recent data, almost half of poor households in Greece were unable to afford a meal with a staple like meat, chicken, or fish for half of 2013. This year, austerity will deal an even heavier blow to the Greek people.

    And Ireland, as its fortunes rise, refuses to help. At the very least, Dublin could just say nothing negative publicly, and help work toward a better deal quietly behind the scenes. Instead, the Irish prime minister has told the international media that he would argue against any type of debt relief for Greece, while Finance Minister Michael Noonan has advocated for a promissory note–type solution for Greece.

    Right now, the Greek experience has shown the world that the institutions of the European project are not yet up to the task of crisis management. In extremis, it seems, leaders would rather openly discuss kicking a country out of the currency union than provide some sort of relief for its debts. In that case, the EU is not a currency union but a series of bilateral currency pegs. And, as such, a Greek exit in the next five years could still come to pass

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/artic...thens-pot-gold
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

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