News Archive – January 2016
The Anti-Trump Network: Fox News Money Flows into Open Borders Group
Murdoch on Illegals: ‘Give Those Individuals… Already Here… a Path to Citizenship’
Breitbart, Jan 26, 2016 – In asking the question of “what’s wrong over there?” Trump has shined a spotlight on one of Washington’s best kept secrets: namely, Fox’s role via its founder Rupert Murdoch in pushing an open borders agenda. The Trump campaign is a direct threat to Murdoch’s efforts to open America’s borders. Well-concealed from virtually all reporting on Fox’s treatment of Trump is the fact that Murdoch is the co-chair of what is arguably one of the most powerful immigration lobbying firms in country…. Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) was a prime lobbyist for one of the biggest open borders pushes in American history: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’s 2013 Gang of Eight immigration bill.
Egyptian troops in Saudi Arabia for joint military exercise
Saudi-led ‘Islamic alliance’ to fight terrorism
Al-Bawaba, Jan 26, 2016 – Jordanian troops, as well as forces from Gulf Cooperation Council member states, will also take part in “Thunder of the North”. On Dec. 15, Saudi Arabia announced it launched a Saudi-led “Islamic alliance” to fight terrorism, made up of 34 countries including Egypt. One day later, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud ordered the increase of Saudi investments in Egypt to above 30 billion Saudi riyals ($8 billion) and pledged to contribute to providing Egypt with petroleum needs for the next five years.
Kerry Arrives in Asia; Trip Focuses on ASEAN, North Korea
Voice of America, Jan 24, 2016 – Secretary of State John Kerry is in Laos, where he will lay the groundwork for a February summit with leaders of 10 ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries …. In February, President Obama will host a special ASEAN summit in California. The gathering will be an opportunity for U.S. and Asia Pacific leaders to explore opportunities to broaden economic and cultural ties. Later this year, Obama travels to Laos, for an ASEAN summit, becoming the first U.S. president to do so.
Asean may displace China as economic hub
‘Not Africa, not Latin America, not Europe, not US…. It’s Southeast Asia’
Inquirer (Philippines), Jan 21, 2016 – It’s bound to be an “evolution” than a “revolution” but the newly-created Asean Economic Community (AEC) is seen to become the “center of the universe” and replace what used to be a China-dominated Asian economic narrative, said a regional executive of American banking giant Citibank…. “It’s also very clear that the center of the universe suddenly becomes us, amongst all other areas, not Africa, not Latin America, not Europe, not US—they’ve got their own issues. It’s Southeast Asia,” Low said. “This is why I feel so positive and encouraged by the medium-term prospects of Asean.”
A Sunni Alliance Creates Strange Bedfellows
Stratfor, Jan 22, 2016 – Over the past few years, Riyadh has given Cairo billions of dollars worth of investments, loans and grants, though, notably, it gave more money to al-Sisi once he stabilized the country…. This tactic comports with Saudi Arabia’s broader regional strategy of building a Sunni state alliance that can counter Iran as Tehran makes its way back into the international community. To that end, Riyadh has tried to recruit members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for a joint counterterrorism grouping, and Egyptian military power would be helpful in either regard. And Egypt, for its part, has an interest in going along with Saudi Arabia’s plans.
GCC working on joint missile defense: Bahrain – Al Arabiya, Jan 21, 2016 – Gulf Arab states are cooperating on regional missile defense and hope to announce the results soon, a Bahraini officer said on Wednesday, suggesting progress in long-stalled efforts to create a cross-border approach to counter Iran’s growing missile capabilities. U.S. and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials say the time has come to push ahead as Arab nations start to mount more joint military missions.
Netanyahu: Sunni states more realistic about Israeli conflict than EU – Al-Bawaba, Jan 21, 2016 – Netanyahu said that “Saudi Arabia recognizes that Israel is an ally rather than an enemy because of the two principle threats that threaten them, Iran and Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“There is a great shift taking place…we used to think that if we solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would solve the larger Israeli Arab conflict. The more I look at it, the more I think it may be the other way around. That by nurturing these relationships that are taking place now with the Arab world, that could actually help us resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we’re actually working towards that end,” he said.
EU, SAARC & REGION BUILDING:
European Union model
‘This is a lesson for all other regions of the world’
Daily Times (Pakistan), Jan 18, 2016 – ….However, the region has integrated itself into one of the most economically integrated regions of the world, known as the European Union. Some of the salient features of this Union are free trade, a common currency and a single visa policy for all the member countries…. This is a lesson for all other regions of the world, which are struggling towards integrating themselves due to political reasons.
A region which can learn from the European Union is South Asia…. All countries in this region blame the political tensions between Pakistan and India to be a major hurdle towards economic integration in South Asia…. But the question arises, how did Europe managed to set aside all its differences and integrate? If Europe can do it, why can’t we?
National laws ‘fall under…Gulf Cooperation Council Law’
VAT to boost revenues hit by falling oil prices
Al Arabiya, Jan 14, 2016 – “Each of the six Gulf states will have their own VAT law that will fall under the broad framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council law,” Younis al-Khouri, under-secretary at the United Arab Emirates finance ministry, told Reuters. “Any two countries that are ready can begin implementation of VAT from 2018,” he said…. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged the GCC countries to introduce a regional VAT as soon as possible….
US Border Agents to Inspect US-Bound Trucks on Mexican Soil
Sharing Intelligence, ‘Joint Border Management in its Early Stages’
‘Closer Border Ties’ include only cross-border airport outside the European Union
ABC News, Jan 12, 2016 – For the first time, U.S. border authorities will inspect trucks entering the United States on Mexican soil, working simultaneously with Mexican counterparts. The new facility in Tijuana, which aims to reduce congestion and speed cargo crossings into San Diego, overcame resistance in Mexico to letting U.S. officials carry guns…. It is the latest demonstration of closer border ties. Last month, a group of U.S. and Mexican investors opened an air terminal in San Diego with a bridge that crosses a razor-wire border fence to Tijuana’s existing airport, believed to be the only cross-border airport outside the European Union
‘ASEAN integration may bring misery to workers’
Manila Times, Jan 11, 2016 – With the integration, employers will have more leeway to pursue leaner and meaner operations, outsource jobs within and across borders and relocate production in the cheapest location,” he explained.
Is a Pan-African Police Force the Answer to Rising Militancy?
Afripol Compared to European Union’s Europol
Newsweek, Jan 9, 2016 – The creation of Afripol—the Mechanism of African Police Cooperation—is one part of this strategy, with Major General Abdelghani Hamel, Algeria’s chief of national security, announcing that the new body will “bring a police response to the global threats in a changing environment.” …. While Algeria is fast-tracking the creation of Afripol, the new mechanism still needs to be signed off by the African Union. This process took many years for Europol.
Single GCC grip on the sword
Iran Threat to GCC Existence Prompts Unity
Arab Times (Kuwait), Jan 9, 2016 – Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have shut all the doors, windows and even cracks of ambiguous interpretations on its unified position towards the threat made by Iran against the GCC’s existence, role, ruling system and laws…. Today, the GCC countries said their piece in a unified single voice — five in number but one in gripping the sword. This single entity has arms able to break the teeth of anyone who attempts to harm it.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC SUB-REGION:
Harmonisation of rules on medicines crucial to EAC
Regional Regulation of Pharmaceutical Industry
Daily News (Tanzania), Jan 7, 2016 – Harmonization of regulations, standards and requirements governing pharmaceutical industry is one of the major policy priority areas of the five-member East African Community (EAC)…. The Arusha-based EAC Secretariat in collaboration with its partner states are also developing regional Pharmaceutical policy, legal and regulatory frameworks to support enforcement of various regional initiatives in the pharmaceutical industry.
East African Community Citizens To Acquire EAC e-Passport Soon – Footprint to Africa (Nigeria), Jan 7, 2016 – East African Community (EAC) said it is about to fulfill one of its mandates as EAC citizens will soon acquire EAC e-passports that will help ease their movement in the EAC bloc, Footprint to Africa reports…. The secretariat also allotted funds for study into a regional e-Passport that would be used by the regional citizens for international travel…. Financial integration is deepening. Free movement of labour is becoming a reality, definitely for Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
AMRO to launch as Asian version of IMF this spring
Japan Times, Jan 5, 2015 – An East and Southeast Asian equivalent to the International Monetary Fund is expected to be launched as early as this spring, tasked with keeping watch on risks in the region such as a collapsing currency. The Singapore-based ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office, or AMRO, an independent body formed in April 2011 by the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea, will likely be upgraded into an official international organization.
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS SUB-REGION:
ECOWAS: Promoting unity, development, integration among member-states
The Guardian (Nigeria), Jan 4, 2015 – We have gone beyond the protocol on free movement of persons and goods, realising the harmonisation of trade and our customs codes. The achievement of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff and Trade Liberalisation Scheme is a vital signpost in the convergence criteria required for our Common Currency regime. Our people can now reside and freely move from one country to another in our region without stress while the region’s infrastructure deficit has been substantially reduced.
One year passes since formation of Eurasian Economic Union
TASS (Russia), Jan 3, 2015 – In May 2015, at the meeting of the Eurasian intergovernmental council Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev put forth an initiative to create a currency union within the Eurasian Economic Union. Currently, the union’s member-states are actively working at creating a common financial market. According to Medvedev, an understanding was reached within the EAEU on the need to avoid competitive devaluation of national currencies. However, some partners within the union, for example, Kazakhstan, are not ready to discuss the idea of a common currency within the EAEU.