NEWS ARCHIVE – November 2013
Ukraine’s EU ‘U-turn’ dominates East Europe talks
France 24, Nov 28, 2013 – Ukraine’s decision to scrap a planned trade agreement with the European Union following pressure from Moscow has darkened the mood as a summit between EU and Eastern European leaders gets under way Thursday in Vilnius.
Ukraine chooses to strengthen ties with Russia and reject historic trade deal with EU – The Independent (London), Nov 21, 2013 – The Ukrainian government has stunned the European Union by announcing it was stepping back from a trade deal with the bloc and would instead pursue greater ties with Russia, hours after refusing to meet EU demands to free jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Ukraine Suspends Europe Trade Talks, Turns to Russia – Atlantic Sentinel, Nov 21, 2013 – A “European” Ukraine would have dashed Putin’s hope of turning the customs unions into an Eurasian Union that could compete with Europe’s. By keeping Ukraine in its sphere of influence, Russia maintains a foothold in Europe, indeed, a European identity, whereas the alternative, an Eurasian Union that includes only Central Asian republics besides Russia, would relegate it to a less pivotal role in world affairs.
AFRICAN UNION – EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY (EAC):
DRAFT EAST AFRICAN MONETARY UNION PROTOCOL READY FOR THE SIGNING BY THE EAC HEADS OF STATE ON 30TH NOVEMBER 2013
EIN News / PRNewswire Africa (press release), Nov 24, 2013 – Introduction of single currency has been made clearer in the final version and now spells out how Partner States will join the last stage of the EAMU which is the single currency and that the East African currency will be the legal tender in the single currency area. “This means that national currencies will not be used alongside the East African currency in the single currency area. Indeed, there cannot be two legal tenders in one single currency area….”
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
Mahama accepts ECOWAS mandate to deliver the ECO – Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Nov 28, 2013 – President John Mahama has accepted the decision of the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] mandating him to take up the responsibility of facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the roadmap of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Program….ECOWAS expects the sub-region to have a common currency by 2020….
West Africa: ECOWAS Pursues Common Market Goal – AllAfrica (The Daily Observer, Banjul), Nov 27, 2013 – The Trade Negotiation Capacity Building (TNCB) project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Tuesday began a three-day training aimed at exploring ways of effectively enhancing free movement of goods and services in line with its common market goal.
REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE: ECOWAS Countries Seeks $26bn for Regional Electricity – This Day (Nigeria), Nov 26, 2013 – Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are planning to raise about $26.416 billion for the completion of various critical electricity generation and transmission projects under its West African Power Pool (WAPP) framework. The projects include the proposed 7,092 megawatts (MW) hydropower, 2,375MW thermal and 800MW renewable power generation mixes and a 16,000km length transmission line that would interconnect all the West African countries to the regional power pool by 2018.
REGIONAL ARMED FORCES: China to Strengthen Ecowas Ties – China has pledged to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) standby force (ESF) improve the effectiveness of the regional security architecture….Under the regional security architecture, the ESF consists of dedicated units in the armed forces of ECOWAS Member States that are deployed as an initial response to any crisis in the region.
Argentina and Brazil coordinating cyber-defense in the framework of Unasur
MercoPress (South Atlantic News Agency, Uruguay), Nov 22, 2013 – Argentine Defense Minister Agustín Rossi met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim and agreed to incorporate all South American countries in their bilateral treaty on cyber-defense. The decision was made after several reports indicated the United States engaged in espionage activities against the countries in the region.
Pastors Support Immigration Reform
ChristianityToday, Nov 18, 2013 – Fifty-eight percent of Protestant pastors agree with the statement: “I am in favor of immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for those who are currently in the country illegally.” Just over half (51 percent) agree that, “Immigration reform will help our church, denomination or movement reach Hispanic Americans.”
Such pastors are willingly ignorant of the fact that this “reform” is part of an insidious, systematic process of harmonizing North America into a regional governance more resembling Mexico’s than the constitutional government of the U.S. These pastors’ support is empowering the very world system that pastors are charged to preach against, which vows to reverse God’s decree at the Tower of Babel that established the sovereignty of nations (Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26).
Japan, ASEAN to unite on regional security ties: summit draft
Japan Times, Nov 19, 2013 – Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will express their resolve next month in Tokyo to bolster security ties for regional peace, with China’s growing maritime assertiveness in mind, a draft of their statement said Monday….On the economic front, the draft states Japan will help to establish an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 by “strengthening connectivity and narrowing the development gaps” among ASEAN members, the draft said…
India has an open arm approach with people of Afghanistan: Khurshid
Newstrack India, Nov 18, 2013 – Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid assured Afghanistan that India’s pledge for US$ 2 billion as humanitarian aid was just the beginning of a process to reach out to the provinces and districts as the Afghan people move ahead in re-building their nation….V. S. Sahney, President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that it is our fervent wish to pursue the agenda of integrating Afghanistan in the regional economic process under SAARC.
Plans to transform Arusha into legal hub underway
Daily News (Tanzania), Nov 19, 2013 – Mr Pinda stated that establishing Arusha as the continent’s own “Hague” should be done in view of the African Union Policy Organs decisions to merge the African Court of Human Rights with the African Court of Justice to create the African Court of Justice and Human Rights an institution which will be based here. “This court will have its jurisdiction extended to cover international crimes,” said the prime minister
Armenia to be ready to sign Customs Union agreement by February: foreign ministry
Arka News Agency (Armenia), Nov 18, 2013 – Yerevan will be practically ready to sign the agreement about accession to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone by February, deputy minister of foreign affairs Shavarsh Kocharyan said….In May 2014 the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will start legal formation of the Eurasian Economic Union that will, in fact, combine the Customs Union and the Common Economic Area….
Customs Union, CSTO encouraged to learn from European Union – Belarusian Telegraph Agency, Nov 19, 2013 – Sergei Lavrov said he was confident that the emerging Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union have all the opportunities for interaction instead of building dividing lines.
Egypt Marches to a Saudi Drummer
Energy Bangla (Bangladesh), Nov 18, 2013 – The Saudi king had proposed that the Gulf Cooperation Council be expanded to include Jordan and Morocco in an alliance of the monarchies in an effort to blunt the spread of the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood. One of General El-Sisi’s many admirers might go so far as to say that he had been chosen by a Divine Hand to save Egypt. The general had been based at the Egyptian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and knew many of the leaders of the Kingdom who could provide the desperately needed funds that would make a coup possible.
UAE calls for an Arab ‘Marshall Plan’ – Blouin News Blog, Nov 18, 2013 – Such a plan would involve a long-term, broad-based commitment to ensure regional “political stability” — at least, according to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s definition of the term….The GCC has made an effort to emphasize their newly unified stance on Egypt — a significant point given Qatar’s crucial support for the toppled Muslim Brotherhood government. With Qatar apparently back in the GCC fold on the issue, the bloc can project a united front in promoting their regional agenda which, unsurprisingly, would not bode well for Islamist groups.
Official: Internal GCC Partnerships Key to Pentagon Gulf Strategy – Defense News (Gannett Government Media), Nov 18, 2013 – “The GCC needs to expand its air defense capabilities to develop a common and integrated approach toward missile defense in cooperation with the US — the only real-world provider and integrator of such a system.”
Ukraine gets ten days to reform and join European Union pact
The Times (London), Nov 18, 2013 – Europe demanded last night that Ukraine should adopt fundamental reforms within ten days to clinch a trade pact that would put it on the path to full membership of the European Union, despite threats from Russia. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, urged President Yanukovych to release Yuliya Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister whose jailing on corruption charges is an obstacle to the signature of a long-planned EU Association Agreement in Vilnius, Lithuania, on
Need for Keystone XL Erodes as U.S. Oil Floods Gulf Coast Refining Hub
New America Media, Nov 11, 2013 – Many benefits being touted by Keystone XL supporters—American jobs, lower oil costs, greater energy independence through lower imports—are already being delivered by the domestic oil rush. The Canadian oil pipeline might expand some of those benefits, but its significance has been eclipsed by surging production in North Dakota and Texas.
Disappointed with the US, Saudi Arabia eyes the bomb
Times of Israel, Nov 10, 2013 – “I suggested two years ago that the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries should consider seriously all options, including acquiring nuclear weapons, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons,” the Saudi statesman told the paper.
BD has vital role in China’s regional rebalancing : SCMP
Financial Express (Bangladesh), Nov 11, 2013 – “More recently, defense procurement has underscored cooperation between the Bangladesh armed forces and China,” said the [South China Morning Post]. China has become an observer in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) following an invitation extended by Bangladesh, which is the founding member of South Asian bloc. “In return, both Beijing and Dhaka see broader regional cooperation central to security and prosperity…”
Strong Indian presence at Commonwealth Business Forum – SME Times (India), Nov 11, 2013 – The Forum, themed “Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development; The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC” will be held Nov 12-14. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the Forum in which as many as 10 heads of state/government will be speaking.
Moscow to host International Conference on Eurasian Integration
Belarusian Telegraph Agency, Nov 11, 2013 – The 8th International Conference on Eurasian Integration of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) will take place in Moscow on 12-13 November to discuss deepening and expanding Eurasian Integration, BelTA learnt from the bank. The participants of the forum will discuss a wide range of issues related to economic integration in the Eurasian space, and prospects of expanding the Customs Union and the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Evangelicals and US immigration reform
Bakersfield Californian, Nov 8, 2013 – Of the major American religious groups, white evangelicals are the most skeptical about immigration. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project, more than 60 percent believe that the growing number of immigrants “threatens traditional American customs and values” and more than half view immigrants as economic burdens rather than contributors. At the same time, many evangelical leaders and institutions — including the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention — are high-profile advocates for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
Obama Pushes Immigration Reform After Meeting with McCain – Breitbart.com, Nov 8, 2013 – One day after asking Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to meet with him in the White House to determine strategies for passing comprehensive immigration reform, President Barack Obama made another push for the controversial legislation on Friday in a speech in New Orleans. Obama urged House Republicans to pass immigration reform legislation “this year.” He claimed comprehensive immigration reform should “not be a partisan issue,” citing George W. Bush’s embrace of the legislation that turned off conservatives.
House Republicans back US immigration reform bill – Workpermit.com, Nov 8, 2013 – These two Republicans are the only Republican members of the House of Representatives (or ‘the House’ as it is known) who have openly backed the Act. There are 435 seats in the House, of which 231 are held by Republicans. 200 are held by Democrats.
Why Are Congressmen Promoting the Federation of East Africa?
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
Kikwete: We will not wreck, leave the EAC
IPP Media (Tanzania), Nov 8, 2013 – President Jakaya Kikwete has cleared Tanzania’s position on the East African Community (EAC), saying the country has no plans to leave or let the partnership fall apart….He said he has started discussion with some of the member states to ensure that the EAC protocols which started with the Customs Union of 2005-2010, and was followed by the Common Market whose implementation has already started and later the Common Currency and lastly the Political Federation are followed.
David Cameron ‘must embrace Churchill’s vision of United States of Europe’
The Telegraph (London), Nov 9, 2013 – The current generation of EU leaders, including David Cameron, must revive Winston Churchill’s vision of a United States of Europe says European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Troika completes Irish review – European Voice, Nov 8, 2013 – The trio of international lenders, known as the “troika” – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – said that Ireland had been “steadfast” in its implementation of the austerity policies mandated by its international creditors.
Defense chief calls for enhancing unity among ASEAN armies
Mizzima News (Myanmar), Nov 9, 2013 – At the meeting, Myanmar’s Deputy Defense Chief and Army Chief Vice Senior-General Soe Win led the discussions on the topic of ” Enhancing ASEAN Armies Unity Towards the 2015 ASEAN Community”.