World News Thread & Breaking News!!

Status
Not open for further replies.

delft

Brigadier
A real ice ball Earth happened some 700 million years ago. Since then there has been less extreme developments with carbon dioxide production by volcano's, by the oxidation of coal layers, leaking oil and gas etc., while it is absorbed by biological activity that produces coal layers and oil and gas. The carbon dioxide and oxygen content of the atmosphere through the ages has been estimated by geological markers. Most interesting is the development over the last 20 000 years . We can correlate the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere with the development of the ice cover during that last ice age and also take account of the Milankovitch cycles which show the influence of the changing earth trajectory around the Sun. This shows a change rate of the carbon dioxide that is very much smaller than the current rate due to industrial fuel use. This makes it likely that the temperature will rise at a much higher rate than that at the end of the last ice age. We can expect a higher rate of temperature rise than happened at any time during the last 20 000 years.The climate will then change. Some areas will get dryer, others wetter. That will be a danger to agriculture in the short run and perhaps an advantage in the long run. I would imagine that a large part of Siberia might become valuable agricultural land after very large investment in water control, roads and railways. But before that happens we might have suffered a large famine. Also most people live near the seas and the rise of the sea level will damage a large part of of humankind's investments in cities, ports, industries etc. in the short time of several centuries.
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
Argentine grandmother leading search for stolen children reunited with own grandson after 36 years

Country celebrates as Estela Carlotto, head of the renowned Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, finds the grandchild taken from her daughter by the military regime almost four decades ago

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!






I will now get back to bottling my Malbec

Wow, whata touching story.:)
 

delft

Brigadier
This is about important World news and it wasn't even mentioned in my dutch newspaper:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Modi leads India to the Silk Road
August 07, 2014 12:47 IST

On the face of it, China has so far been reluctant about India's admission as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

According to latest reports, Beijing has had a profound rethink.

At the SCO foreign ministers meeting last Thursday in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a decision has been taken that the grouping will formally invite India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia as members at its next summit in September.

To be sure, Russia would be immensely pleased. A Moscow pundit promptly estimated that India's admission into the SCO will pave the way for the grouping to hold itself out as a 'centre of power in world politics.'

Make no mistake, the tectonic plates of the geopolitics of a massive swathe of the planet stretching from the Asia-Pacific to West Asia are dramatically shifting and that grating noise in the Central Asian steppes will be heard far and wide -- as far as North America.

The big question remains: What made China shift its stance?

We know that at the 90-minute meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Fortaleza, Brazil, on the sidelines of the recent BRICS summit, the subject of India's role in the SCO did come up.

Several reasons could be attributed to the 'new thinking' in Beijing. First and foremost, China may sense that under Modi's leadership, India is all set to pursue a genuinely independent foreign policy.

The idea of an 'independent foreign policy' has been a cliche in Indian discourses and has been bandied about cavalierly by many governments in India.

But the plain truth is that ever since India embarked on economic reforms a couple of decades ago, the Western industrialised world -- the US, in particular -- assumed centrality in the Indian calculus.

Subtle shifts in the country's foreign policy trajectory ensued, helped in no small measure by interest groups and lobbies in India.

This trend became much pronounced through the past decade under then prime minister Manmohan Singh's leadership and at times India seemed to be succumbing to the charms of a new form of entrapment -- of the mind.

Unsurprisingly, China's hesitation hitherto stemmed from its unspoken worry that India might work as a 'Trojan horse' for the Americans within the SCO tent, which was, of course, unacceptable since the grouping has been of critical importance to Beijing in the pursuit of its regional policies as well as for safeguarding the country's own territorial integrity and national security.

It is from such a perspective that Modi's imprimatur that is already visible in India's foreign policies needs to be judged. Clearly, the compass of India's foreign policy is being reset.

Modi has taken to the BRICS like fish to water, which surprised most Indian observers who were visualising that the interest groups most vociferously backing his candidature in the parliamentary poll in April would expect him to follow a 'pro-American' foreign policy, driven also by the craving to adopt a muscular approach to India's problematic relationships with China and Pakistan.

However, Modi's meetings on the sidelines of the BRICS summit with Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin brought out his conviction that India's long-term interests are best served by forging closer strategic partnerships with these two world powers.

Again, most expectedly, instead of beating war drums, Modi let loose peace doves into the South Asian skies.

And, least of all, came his audacious decision to demand that Delhi cannot ratify the World Trade Organisation's so-called trade facilitation agreement if it jeopardised India's food security.

Modi took this decision in the national interest, unperturbed by the fact that he is due to visit the US and anticipating that it will be seen as an unhelpful act by the Barack Obama administration and will annoy the Washington establishment and American business lobbies.

What emerges out of all these is that Modi has a world vision as regards the co-relation of forces internationally today and can fathom where it is that India's core interests would lie.

Modi is a reclusive and enigmatic personality and has spoken hardly anything on world politics, but he seems to have thought through a great deal in the privacy of his mind. That much is a safe guess.

Suffice to say, Modi supported the emergence of the BRICS development bank with great deliberation, knowing fully well that such a move challenges the dominance of the US dollar in the world economy and will seriously undermine the Bretton Woods system that provided a vital underpinning for the advancement and preservation of the United States' global hegemony for the past several decades.

If one ventures to put an intellectual construct on such trends as are available in these past 70 days that might eventually go into a 'Modi Doctrine', it would probably consist of the following elements:

Modi has a pronounced 'India-first' approach, which is a rooted belief as well.
But he is not dogmatic when it comes to the pursuit of India's national interests.
Nor is it divested of emotions. The human factor is obvious from his trademark slogan, 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (meaning, inclusive development) and he visualises the foreign policy as an extension of national policies.
India needs help for development from all available sources and there is willingness to source it without pride or prejudice.
India needs a friendly external environment that is conducive to development and acts as a buffer for its national security. Modi places great store on regional cooperation.
Modi visualises that India's 'influence' in its region is critically dependent on its capacity to carry the small neighbours along on the path of growth and prosperity that would make them genuine stakeholders -- rather than by demanding respect or insisting on 'influence' on the basis of its pre-eminence in the region as a military and economic power and through 'muscle-flexing'.
He reposes confidence in the country's inherent advantages as a regional power and is not paranoid about any 'string of pearls' chocking India.
Modi believes in promoting India's commonality of interests with other emerging powers that also have been denied their due role in the global political and economic architecture, which was erected by the West out of the debris of World War II and has become archaic, but remains impervious to change and reform.
The above elements are more or less visible and their interplay presents an engaging sight.

The dire predictions regarding the quintessential Modi have proved to be largely baloney -- that, for instance, a nasty confrontation between India and Pakistan was inevitable once Modi took over as prime minister.

Or that, China's PLA would 'test' Modi's grit by pitching a tent or two on the disputed Indian territory.

But nothing of the sort has happened. Discerning analysts, on the contrary, have noted some accommodative attitudes on China's part toward India in the most recent period.

Similarly, it is China that Modi has engaged most intensively so far.

A large corpus of Indian pundits have been emphatically predicting that Modi would form an axis with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to counter Beijing's 'assertiveness' in the Asia-Pacific.

Curiously, however, by the time Modi gets around to seeing Obama (or Abe), he would have twice met Xi already.

Coming back to India's impending membership of the SCO, there are three salients that draw attention.

First, the timing of the SCO decision to admit India; secondly, how SCO is poised to evolve; and, third, what India can make out of its SCO membership. Each needs some elaboration.

During his visit to New Delhi last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry (in image, left, with Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj) was asked at a media interaction where India would stand in Washington's scheme of things as regards its recent sanctions against Russia.

Kerry accepted that he was disappointed but appeared resigned to India's stance. 'We would obviously welcome India joining in with us with respect to that (sanctions). But it is up to them. It is India's choice.'

It does not need much ingenuity to figure out that the SCO is taking the decision to admit India at a defining moment in the post-Cold War era politics.

India's SCO membership is fructifying hardly days before Modi's first-ever meeting with Obama. The point is, the SCO is also taking a calculated decision to invite India to become a full member.

The backdrop to the SCO decision is extremely relevant. The US is pursuing a dual containment policy toward Russia and China, the two prime movers of the SCO. The US, on the other hand, has been assiduously wooing India as a strategic ally.

From the American viewpoint, India's SCO membership will inevitably impact the future trajectory of the US-Indian strategic partnership even as India is unavailable as 'counterweight' against China or as an accomplice to 'isolate' Russia.

India being a major power in Asia, its policy of 'non-alignment' grates against the US's rebalance strategy.

On a more fundamental plane, it needs to be understood that if the SCO has often been called the 'NATO of the East', it was not without reason -- although the grouping is far from a military alliance in the classic sense.

The SCO has disallowed a security vacuum appearing in Central Asia, which NATO might have seized as alibi to step in. Put differently, so long as the SCO is around, NATO's eastward expansion beyond the Caucasus remains blocked.

Meanwhile, it also needs to be factored in that the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation work shoulder to shoulder on regional security.

The two organisations challenge the US strategy to project NATO as a global security organisation.

The admission of India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia constitutes a major setback for America's regional strategies.

For one thing, an expanded SCO provides 'strategic depth' for Russia. The US and European Union's sanctions against Russia will be rendered even more toothless.

It weakens the American hand in the negotiations vis-a-vis Iran insofar as the sanctions regime aimed at isolating Iran becomes unsustainable.

It debilitates America's 'pivot' strategy in Asia; it diminishes its capacity to dictate terms to Afghanistan (or Pakistan).

In strategic terms, the stunning reality is that by the end of this year, the SCO will have as members four nuclear powers plus one 'threshold power'.

In geopolitical terms, the SCO will be stepping out of Central Asia and wetting its toes in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.

It is entirely conceivable that at some point sooner rather than later the SCO countries may move toward trading in their national currencies, creating banking institutions to fund intra-regional projects and forming preferential trade regimes.

Needless to say, with India, Pakistan and Iran inside the SCO tent, the grouping becomes a lead player in Afghanistan.

The SCO's surge severely cramps the ability of the US to manipulate the forces of radical Islam and terrorism as instruments of regional policies in Central Asia and Afghanistan.


No doubt, from the Afghan perspective, NATO ceases to be the only show in town. This can only strengthen Afghanistan's independence and enable that country to regain its national sovereignty.

An enlarged SCO cannot but view with disquiet the US and NATO's game plan to establish military bases in Afghanistan and to deploy the missile defence system in the Hindu Kush.

In sum, the induction of India, Pakistan and Iran would become a game-changer for the SCO. For the first time in modern history, a collective security organisation would be taking shape in a huge landmass on the planet inhabited by some three billion people.

It would significantly boost the impetus toward multi-polarity in world politics by championing the pivotal role of the UN in upholding international law.

How can India make use of its SCO membership? There are four or five directions in which Indian diplomacy can hope to explore new frontiers. The SCO chronicle provides some useful pointers.

Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the SCO provided a platform for Russia, China and Central Asian States to lay to rest the ghosts of the past, namely, the bitter legacy of the Soviet era animosities.

The SCO offered a new pattern of relationship based on equality and shared concerns and commonality of interests that, in turn, helped create trust and confidence leading to the resolution of their border disputes and the harmonisation of their regional security objectives.

There is much food for thought here for India. A window of opportunity opens for Indian diplomats to work with China and Pakistan in a similar spirit as China did with its erstwhile Soviet-era adversaries.

Again, it is no small matter that the army chiefs or spy chiefs of India, China and Pakistan would get to meet and interact within the SCO tent on a regular basis within an institutionalised framework, exchange notes and begin seeking solutions to regional problems.

At the very least, the chances of an India-Pakistan turf war breaking out in Afghanistan would minimise, which would encourage Pakistan, hopefully, to craft a new course jettisoning its obsession with 'strategic depth'.

Curiously, the SCO membership makes Indians and Pakistanis comrades-in-arms in stabilising Afghanistan. Of course, such a turn of events cannot but have positive fallouts on the overall climate of India-Pakistan relationship.

Again, the SCO enables India to rev up its regional policies and it is no small gain that regional security is not held hostage by the US’s unpredictable and capricious policies toward Afghanistan.

Finally, the Silk Road as such would get a massive fillip and within the SCO framework, India could aspire to gain greater access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

India's energy security gets strengthened, too. The time may have come for the creation of an SCO energy club, an idea first mooted by Putin a decade ago.

New possibilities arise for initiating trans-regional energy projects under the auspices of the SCO, such as the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

In overall terms, the SCO membership makes the prevailing international situation highly favourable for India's overall development and its rise as a global power.

The best thing about the SCO is that it is not prescriptive and India can preserve its 'strategic autonomy'. Nor is the SCO directed against any country in the world community.

In short, the member-States are entirely at liberty to pursue their foreign policies attuned to their respective national priorities.

That is to say, SCO membership does not stand in the way of India deepening and expanding its multi-faceted cooperation with the US.

On the contrary, it only enhances India's capacity to negotiate a relationship with the US that is truly based on equal footing.

Suffice to say, SCO membership gives added raison d'etre and verve to India's non-aligned policies.

Through the six decades or so since the idea of non-alignment was born, the world has changed phenomenally and India too has transformed beyond recognition. But the idea of non-alignment as such continues to have great relevance for India.

The intellectual challenge for India's diplomacy today lies in reinterpreting the idea of non-alignment in tune with the spirit of our times, which is characterised by multi-polarity in international politics, so as to meet our country's needs in the coming period as an emerging power.

That is also what Jawaharlal Nehru would have expected Modi to do as his worthy successor presiding over India's tryst with destiny at a crucial juncture in world politics.

All things considered, therefore, India's SCO membership would signify that the Modi government is charioting India toward a new multi-polar world order where the country's political and diplomatic options will multiply.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar is a retired diplomat.
This would change South Asia profoundly. It would have great influence in the Middle East as well as East Asia.
 

Miragedriver

Brigadier
A real ice ball Earth happened some 700 million years ago. Since then there has been less extreme developments with carbon dioxide production by volcano's, by the oxidation of coal layers, leaking oil and gas etc., while it is absorbed by biological activity that produces coal layers and oil and gas. The carbon dioxide and oxygen content of the atmosphere through the ages has been estimated by geological markers. Most interesting is the development over the last 20 000 years . We can correlate the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere with the development of the ice cover during that last ice age and also take account of the Milankovitch cycles which show the influence of the changing earth trajectory around the Sun. This shows a change rate of the carbon dioxide that is very much smaller than the current rate due to industrial fuel use. This makes it likely that the temperature will rise at a much higher rate than that at the end of the last ice age. We can expect a higher rate of temperature rise than happened at any time during the last 20 000 years.The climate will then change. Some areas will get dryer, others wetter. That will be a danger to agriculture in the short run and perhaps an advantage in the long run. I would imagine that a large part of Siberia might become valuable agricultural land after very large investment in water control, roads and railways. But before that happens we might have suffered a large famine. Also most people live near the seas and the rise of the sea level will damage a large part of of humankind's investments in cities, ports, industries etc. in the short time of several centuries.
You forgot to mention the many ice ages:
850 to 630 million years ago during the Cryogenian period
460 to 420 million years ago, during the Late Ordovician and the Silurian period.
The last ice age that occurred 23,500 and 21,000 years ago

Earth’s climate is controlled by the Sun. In comparison, every other factor is trivial. The coldest part of the Little Ice Age during the latter half of the seventeenth century was marked by the nearly complete absence of sunspots. And the Sun now appears to be entering a new period of quiescence. August of 2008 was the first month since the year 1913 that no sunspots were observed.

We have heard much of the dangers of global warming due to carbon dioxide. But the potential danger of any potential anthropogenic warming is trivial compared to the risk of entering a new ice age. Public policy decisions should be based on a realistic appraisal that takes both climate scenarios into consideration.

There is no evidence of increased severe weather events anywhere in the world. Statistically, the world weather is doing what it has always done. What really amazes me is when one sees a TV reporter interviewing some old farmer and the interview goes like this: “Hello, your farm is covered waist deep in snow; is this bad for you!” “Farmer: “Yes it is, it is killing my animals.” Reporter: “Do you think this is due to climate change?” “Oh yes,” says the farmer. “I am sure it is.”

Then the reporter says: “Have you ever seen it this bad before?” The farmer replies: “Well not for a long time; this is as bad as the 1972 snowfall, but not as bad as the 1966 fall.” Nobody then points out that if there was a 1972 snowfall as bad, and one in 1966 which was worse, and then you cannot possibly attribute the current one to climate change. This fundamental piece of logic is never followed up by the reporters.

Even the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, which is not known for having balanced views, or even scientific views, has recently admitted that there has been no global warming for the past 16 years. That is worth repeating; no global warming 16 years!

It appears strongly as if all the observed global warming and cooling, for thousands of years, can be explained by cosmic rays from outer space interacting with the magnetic field effects of the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth. The observed effects fit the physics of the magnetic field theory well; it does not fit a CO2 theory.
 

delft

Brigadier
The variation in the power of the Sun is small compared with the slow secular increase in that power and is not the explanation of the ice ages. The ice ages are caused by variation in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun ( Milankovitch ), the production and absorbtion of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses ( water vapor is even more important ) and the distribution of sea and land areas determining climate. Production and absorbtion of carbon dioxide is dependent on biological activity and plate tectonics. Biological activity is dependent on everything. Most of these things vary very slowly. An exception was the break out of a large lake in North America when an ice dam failed some 11000 years ago and a large amount of fresh water reach the North Atlantic. Others must have been the inundation of the Mediterranean after it had been closed of from the ocean during ice ages during which layers of salt formed on its bottom and the inundation of the Black Sea. Such episodes lasted days or weeks. The break out of the North American lake caused a drop in average temperature in a small lake near the border of Germany and France of some 10 degrees during a time of less than 15 years. This hiccup in the warming at the end of the last ice age lasted some 500 years.
The one effect caused by the Sun was the drop in activity during the Maunder minimum which is thought to have caused the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. But that effect has now died out and cannot be the explanation of ice ages lasting ten or hundreds of thousands of years. The current increase in average world temperature is best explained by the increase in cabon dioxide in the air. Even so there are plenty of short term effects, El Nino, volcanic eruptions etc., that make it impossible to predict accurately the average temperature from the carbon dioxide content of the air.
 
The variation in the power of the Sun is small compared with the slow secular increase in that power and is not the explanation of the ice ages. The ice ages are caused by variation in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun ( Milankovitch ), the production and absorbtion of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses ( water vapor is even more important ) and the distribution of sea and land areas determining climate. Production and absorbtion of carbon dioxide is dependent on biological activity and plate tectonics. Biological activity is dependent on everything. Most of these things vary very slowly. An exception was the break out of a large lake in North America when an ice dam failed some 11000 years ago and a large amount of fresh water reach the North Atlantic. Others must have been the inundation of the Mediterranean after it had been closed of from the ocean during ice ages during which layers of salt formed on its bottom and the inundation of the Black Sea. Such episodes lasted days or weeks. The break out of the North American lake caused a drop in average temperature in a small lake near the border of Germany and France of some 10 degrees during a time of less than 15 years. This hiccup in the warming at the end of the last ice age lasted some 500 years.
The one effect caused by the Sun was the drop in activity during the Maunder minimum which is thought to have caused the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. But that effect has now died out and cannot be the explanation of ice ages lasting ten or hundreds of thousands of years. The current increase in average world temperature is best explained by the increase in cabon dioxide in the air. Even so there are plenty of short term effects, El Nino, volcanic eruptions etc., that make it impossible to predict accurately the average temperature from the carbon dioxide content of the air.
I knew you guys were old, but your eye-witness account of the planets history explains some of your "crusty-ness"
as well, I'll proclaim myself a young earth creationist, and leave it at that.
 

texx1

Junior Member
Internationalization of RMB continues

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Swiss, Chinese Central Banks Enter Currency Swap Agreement

ZURICH--The Swiss National Bank and the People's Bank of China reached a currency swap agreement on Monday, allowing the two central banks to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of 150 billion renminbi, or 21 billion Swiss francs ($23.4 billion).

The deal will also allow the Swiss central bank to invest some of its huge accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese bond market, the SNB said in a statement Monday.

The Zurich-based SNB said the agreement will further strengthen collaboration between it and its Chinese counterpart and is a "key requisite for the development of a renminbi market in Switzerland." It could also facilitate trade and investment between the two countries, the PBOC said.

Switzerland is the latest of a series of countries to set up swap lines with China, which is keen to promote the international use of the yuan.

Last year China signed swap agreements with the European Central Bank and a clutch of others, including the U.K., Brazil and Indonesia.

The agreement between China and Switzerland has a term of three years and can be renewed thereafter, the PBOC said.

Write to Neil MacLucas at [email protected] and Richard Silk at [email protected]
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator

World News is meant for truly breaking world news. Tragedies, disasters, major events, outbreak of war, well known leaders or people dieting, etc.

NOT political news regarding taking swipes at particular ideologies or thoughts...on either side.

We can all find such articles written to reinforce this or that political or ideological persuasion, but That is not what SD is for or about.

That is all.

Do not respond to this moderation.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top