Archive | October, 2013

EU’s economic problems prevent a comprehensive immigration policy

Capsizing boats full of asylum-seekers off the coasts of Italy and Malta have made headlines in Europe. Despite the loss of lives, the EU has not come up with a comprehensive solution to prevent such tragedies in the future. A stressed Europe faces yet another challenge with its migrant and asylum policy.  Europe is already […]

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People's Bank of China

China’s central bank stands alone against inflation

Renminbi internationalization may work against the Chinese central bank’s effort to tighten liquidity and curb rising inflation. Commercial banks will also have bigger leverage over the central bank as more interests and forces work in their favor. Lately, China has experienced tightened liquidity. On 22 October, the 7-day repo rate reached 5.05%, the highest since […]

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High speed rail 2

UK’s High Speed Rail 2 unlikely to boost growth by itself

It has not been a good month for High Speed Rail 2 (HS-2). The proposed upgrade to transport infrastructure that would connect London to Birmingham with a high-speed line running up to 250 mph by 2026, later branching out to Leeds and Manchester by 2032-3, has proven to be one of the most disputed transport […]

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Cape Town South Africa Fracking Rally

Minister: fracking will “reindustrialise South African economy”

Fracking in the Karoo region may offer a much-needed revitalisation of the South African economy, despite public protests against exploration and extraction. Benefits are likely to offset environmental and political risks. Nearly a thousand protestors marched through Cape Town last Friday, carrying signs warning Shell South Africa to “Frack Off.” After lifting a moratorium on […]

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UK manufacturing

Against public, UK manufacturers favour EU membership

Anti-EU sentiment has been on the rise in most of the bloc’s 28 member states since the onset of the European sovereign debt crisis. However, few European countries have proven as skeptical about European integration as the United Kingdom, where a large number of voters (46 percent) admit to being in favour of leaving the […]

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Libyan PM Ali Zeidan

PM kidnapping shows Libya in chaos

Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, the level of instability in Libya has become increasingly tenuous. Security Sector Reform (SSR) has been grossly neglected, resulting in a hotbed of militia activity, criminality and lawlessness. An influx of readily available weaponry has heightened the danger present in Libya at every level. In a pinnacle moment, […]

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Fukushima amplifies Japanese energy import dependence

When Typhoon Wipha flooded Japan with heavy rains last week, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant ordered precautionary measures to prevent leakage of contaminated water. Ever since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a reactor meltdown at the plant, Fukushima has become a symbol of a Japanese nuclear strategy and energy supply in […]

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Azerbaijan’s autocratic liability threatens long-term investment

In Azerbaijan, foreign investment opportunities and geopolitical considerations take precedence over international calls for political reform. The country represents a foreign investor’s dream: a one-stop shop for energy resources essentially controlled by the strongman dictator Ilham Aliev. For oil companies, in particular, the system is appealing. Aliev’s tight control on the political system allows companies […]

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Central African Republic rebel group

Central African Republic may become ‘the next Somalia’

Of all the bloody conflicts around the world, it is somewhat surprising that the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) receives such scant media attention. While some observers even claim it will become ‘the next Somalia,’ both NGOs and the UN are calling for urgent funding and international troop deployment before the situation gets […]

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government shutdown

Why US business cannot afford to ignore unbalanced politics

The US government shutdown revealed that big business may have responsibilities to a functioning political system. After a three-week debacle, the greatest loser is neither a political party nor the American public but rather big business. Failing to meet a responsibility it has partly taken upon itself, big business failed to help balance legitimate competition […]

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