By JANE PERLEZ
The New York Times
BEIJING — After unleashing an anti-American tirade in Beijing last week, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines left some Chinese, who like tightly scripted state visits, wondering if their unpredictable guest could be trusted.
By George Friedman
How one regional parliament blocked a trade deal for the entire EU.
The Canadian-EU free trade negotiation has fallen apart. It was destroyed by the Walloon government, which opposed the deal. Since any free trade agreement (and most other things) must be approved by all members of the European Union, the Walloon parliament’s decision to oppose the treaty killed it. The Canadian trade minister was stunned and even distraught at years of negotiations being blocked by the Walloons, but they had their reasons to block it, which must be considered.
By Maureen O’Hara
It’s too easy for Wall Street to overlook ethical constraints and only care about the ends, not the means
It is human nature to search for the easier way to do things. At Volkswagen, engineers decided it was easier to write code to fool mileage sensors than it was to actually build more fuel-efficient cars. At Wells Fargo, opening new accounts was much easier to do if you skipped that pesky customer step. Both cases illustrate the pitfalls of caring only about the ends and not also the means.
by G.M. Tamás
We tend to forget the importance of the experience of people participating in historical events. The mainstream political literature presents 1945 in Eastern Europe as a Russian occupation that gradually forced a rootless system on a reluctant and recalcitrant population who obeyed out of fear. But almost nobody seems to have taken the pain to explain why even conservative or monarchist contemporaries called 1945 not only “liberation” but “revolution”. The new system—at the beginning pluralist and democratic—found in Hungary tens of thousands of surviving volunteers of the Red Army in 1919 and hundreds of thousands of participants of the 1919 revolution and of the Council Republic, hundreds of thousands of trade unionists trained by the slightly rigid and old-fashioned Marxism taught by social democracy.1
By Mario Osava
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 2016 (IPS) – The same justice that exists to ensure rights can become a tool to violate them and restrict freedom of the press, as seen with the recent wave of lawsuits against journalists and the media in Brazil.
BY JEFF STEIN
If Hillary Clinton were Rachel in The Girl on the Train, Vladimir Putin would end up with a corkscrew in his neck. Alas, cyber wars don’t lend themselves to the neat endings of fictional whodunnits, much less most real crimes. Four months after the security firm Crowdstrike revealed that two groups of hackers believed to be based in Russia had penetrated the Democratic National Committee, convincing evidence has yet to surface that the Kremlin is responsible—and it may never. Likewise, security experts said last summer that whoever hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email servers was “far too skilled to leave evidence of their work.”
Elaine Moore in London and Simeon Kerr in Dubai
Saudi was helped by the low-rate backdrop, but the demand for the 30-year bond still surprised
Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to chart a course away from oil dependence and towards a more diversified economy is off to a flying start — with a blockbuster $17.5bn debut sovereign bond sale.
Philippines president talks of resolving South China Sea dispute through dialogue in new ‘springtime’ in relations with China
The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced his “separation” from the United States, saying it has “lost” and he has realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.
By Timothy M. Gill*
The Washington Post
Over the past year, it has become fashionable to draw parallels between Donald Trump and foreign leaders, especially populist leaders in Europe and Latin America. One of those leaders is former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
By George Friedman
The candidate has not shifted her strategy to respond to the changing reality in the international system.
This is an election in which anything can happen. Nevertheless, for now at least, it appears that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. For the moment, we can turn away from the real issues of this world to the question of what Clinton’s foreign policy might look like if she wins. It is an important question, inasmuch as I was at a dinner last night where there were foreign diplomats, and they seemed oddly obsessed with the question.
Analysis by Alyn Ware*
NEW YORK (IDN) – The United Nations General Assembly has on October 13 affirmed António Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the next United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG). The UN Security Council had on October 5 nominated him for the position after considering 13 candidates.
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Oct 2016 (IPS) – Now that world attention is focused on the fast growing process of urbanisation, with 2 in 3 people estimated to be living in towns and cities by the year 2030, an old “equation” jumps rapidly to mind: each time a small farmer migrates to an urban area, equals to one food producer less, and one food consumer more.
Geoff Dyer in New York
Political posturing presents Portugal’s former premier with a mission he must make possible
Exasperated by cold war intrigue between the Soviets and the Americans, Trygve Lie of Norway, the UN’s first secretary-general, warned his successor in 1953: “Welcome to the most impossible job on this earth.”
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Oct 2016 (IPS) – When the United Nations elaborated its latest report on the impact of what it calls “the dramatic shift towards urban life,” it tried to draw a balanced portrait of both the opportunities and the challenges of the fact that 1 in 2 world inhabitant already lives in urban areas and what this implies.
By Baher Kamal
ROME, Oct 2016 (IPS) – What would be your reaction if you were told that food prices are steadily declining worldwide? Good, very good news, you may say. But do the 600 million small, family farmers, those who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some regions, think the same way? Definitely not at all.
Robert J. Burrowes
As the evidence mounts that we are fast approaching the final point-of-no-return beyond which it will be impossible to take sufficient effective action to prevent climate catastrophe – see ‘The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently’ http://www.climatecentral.org/news/world-passes-400-ppm-threshold-permanently-20738 – the evidence of ineffective official responses climbs too. See, for example, ‘Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is really bad news’. https://corporateeurope.org/blog/climate-con-why-new-global-deal-aviation-emissions-really-bad-news
The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would deny welfare benefits to unemployed citizens of other EU nations for five years. Defenders of the plan, which has yet to be taken up by parliament, argue that Germany needs to prevent inactive citizens from other EU members from claiming benefits in the country. The proposal marks a notable development in the evolution of the free movement of people in the European Union, one of the bloc’s founding tenets. From a principle that guarantees the free movement of citizens, the bloc could be slowly moving to a free movement of workers.
by Dilip Hiro
LobeLog – Foreign Policy
In the strangest election year in recent American history — one in which the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson couldn’t even conjure up the name of a foreign leader he “admired” while Donald Trump remained intent on building his “fat, beautiful wall” and “taking” Iraq oil — the world may be out of focus for many Americans right now. So a little introduction to the planet we actually inhabit is in order. Welcome to a multipolar world. One fact stands out: Earth is no longer the property of the globe’s “sole superpower.”
The New York Review of Books
In a seminar room in Oxford, one of the reporters who worked on the Panama Papers is describing the main conclusion he drew from his months of delving into millions of leaked documents about tax evasion. “Basically, we’re the dupes in this story,” he says. “Previously, we thought that the offshore world was a shadowy, but minor, part of our economic system. What we learned from the Panama Papers is that it is the economic system.”
by Graham E. Fuller
LobeLog Foreign Policy
A deep contradiction lies at the heart of US policy towards the present horrifying conflict in Syria. Which is better? To now reluctantly accept continuation of Bashar al-Asad in power in Damascus for the foreseeable future, thereby hastening the end of the war and the killing? Or to fight till the last Syrian in the belief that an indefinite prolongation of the civil war will somehow bring about a much brighter future for Syria and deal a rebuff to the position of Russia and Iran in Syria?