News Archive – November 2014

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC:
Saarc countries: Business leaders for common currency
Business Recorder (Pakistan), Nov 29, 2014 – President of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, has suggested that South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (Saarc) member-countries should introduce single currency on the pattern of European Countries (EU).
SAARC: China offers a way forward – Sunday Times (Sri Lanka), Nov 30, 2014 – India was hyper-active at Kathmandu as the Pakistani doosra to invite China into the ‘club’ took all by surprise. India’s diplomatic machine worked overtime to quash China’s almost brazen bid to seek full membership in the eight-nation grouping…. With China fast moving towards the position of the world’s No. 1 economic power, India’s aim may be wishful thinking. How can SAARC be a counterweight to China unless it emerges as a confederation or an economic union like the European Union?
Let’s Partition SAARC – Analysis – Eurasia Review, Nov 29, 2014 – By playing spoiler at the SAARC summit, maybe the Pakistanis have spared India the embarrassment of reneging on the road and rail deal at a later date. A deal like this which would open India to Pakistani traffic is a security nightmare and highly avoidable. But more importantly, Pakistan has opened an opportunity for India to take the sub-regional route with the other South Asian countries from whom India stands to gain a lot more than from Pakistan.

World Bank pledges $1.2 billion for infrastructure projects in East Africa
Reuters, Nov 29, 2014 – The World Bank said on Saturday it will loan East African nations $1.2 billion to improve inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region…. “The World Bank Group’s investments and support to reforms anticipate the boom of extractives in the region and will facilitate easier movement of people, goods and capital,” the bank said in a statement issued at an EAC [East African Community] meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

EU 'Tower of Babel'EUROPEAN UNION:

Cameron forced to retreat on immigration: ‘Game-changing’ speech makes unexpected concessions to EU leaders
Independent (UK), Nov 28, 2014 – David Cameron has beat a retreat over Tory plans for Britain to impose a cap on numbers of European Union migrant workers in response to soaring levels of immigration, confounding hopes among many of his backbench MPs.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Businesses to receive incentive for hiring illegal immigrants, report says
Fox News, Nov 27, 2014 – Businesses reportedly will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers under President Obama’s sweeping action on illegal immigration. Because of a kink in ObamaCare, businesses will not face a penalty for not providing illegal immigrants health care, The Washington Times reports. Illegal immigrants are ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on ObamaCare’s health exchanges.

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC:
Modi-Sharif handshake salvages Saarc summit
Times of India, Nov 27, 2014 – A brief meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif appears to have salvaged a summit of South Asian leaders, with all eight countries clinching a last-minute deal to create a regional electricity grid.
SAARC leaders reach last-minute energy deal
The Hindu, Nov 27, 2014 – Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan brought smiles on the stage as well as in the hall when they shook each other’s hands. A beaming Nepal PM Sushil Koirala was just behind them. The City Hal, the venue of the SAARC Summit, instantly broke into applause.
Pak joins chorus for bigger China role in Saarc, India says no – Hindustan Times, Nov 26, 2014 – India on Tuesday rejected a demand by some Saarc member states to give a stronger role to China and other observer countries within the regional body…. The move comes amid growing pressure from Beijing and some Saarc countries, seeking the role of dialogue partner or full membership to play a more influential role in the eight-nation association. Sources said the Pakistani delegation had sought a stronger role for observers, particularly China….

GCC flagGulf-Cooperation-CouncilGCC:
Interior ministers call for unified Gulf police
Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), Nov 27, 2014 – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interior ministers called for launching the procedures to set up the unified Gulf police. The Interpol-like force will be headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi…. The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
GCC to launch Joint Military Command at Doha summit: source
Asharq Alawsat English, Nov 25, 2014 – Plans for establishing the unified military command were announced at the 34th GCC summit, held in Kuwait City in December 2013. During that meeting, GCC leaders tasked the organization’s Joint Defense Council to take “all necessary measures” to maintain the security and stability of member states and build a unified defense system. he new command may take on the task of coordinating between member states and the US-led international coalition against terrorism, which is currently launching airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Political Integration key agenda at heads of state meeting
News of Rwanda, Nov 26, 2014 – East Africa enters the most decisive stage in its ambitious quest for a political union this week when the five heads of state launch the writing of a federal constitution and issue a time frame for establishment of a regional government.
Political integration, which is the top agenda for the 16th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit scheduled for November 30 in Nairobi, would pave the way for a strong authority to reinforce implementation of the other stages of integration the Common Market, the Monetary Union and the Customs Union. The presidents of Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya Tanzania and Uganda are expected to make a final decision on what form political federation will take before the draft constitution is put in place….

Eurasec FlagEurasian Union, IranEURASIAN UNION:
Regional Transformations: Russia seeks new ties with Armenia’s neighbors
ArmeniaNow, Nov 26, 2014 – And if Russia is able to come to terms with Turkey, Iran, Georgia and a number of other countries to establish a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union, then it will, first and foremost, impact Armenia, which will be isolated from other relevant projects and completely absorbed in the Russian military-political space. The next step could be an offer to “unite the armies” of Russia and Armenia according to the example of Abkhazia.

EU-flagEU - european_union_mapEUROPEAN UNION:
Pope launches astonishing attack on ‘bureaucratic and opulent’ European Union
The Express (UK), Nov 25, 2014 – The Pope attacked the European Union’s “opulent” and “aloof” leadership and institutions today in an extraordinary speech to the Strasbourg parliament…. To cheers from Eurosceptic members, the Pope railed against the “certain selfish lifestyles, an opulence that is no longer sustainable” and the “frequent indifference to the world around us, especially to the poorest of the poor.”

Arab League flagthe-arab-league-2430-20090113-67ARAB LEAGUE:
Arab League: Common market in 6 years, customs union next year
Middle East Monitor, Nov 24, 2014 – Secretary General of the Arab League Dr. Nabil Elaraby said the organisation has taken steps toward launching the Arab Common Market (ACM) in six years…. The long-term goal of the ACM was to establish a full customs union that would abolish – amongst its members – trade restrictions, trade quotas, and restrictions on residence, employment, labour, and transportation.

UNASUR - FLAG - 119 x 73UNASUR - Clenched FistUNASUR:
Propose Unasur South American passport
Nuevo Herald (Miami Herald) | Associated Press, Nov 25, 2014 (Google Translate) – The Union of South American Nations intends to propose the creation of the South American passport at the summit of presidents of the regional forum, December 5 in the Ecuadorian capital…. Among other objectives … are set common policies to the regional bloc citizens can have the right to health, education and justice within the countries of UNASUR.
Unasur treaty discuss energy and South American citizenship

At the preparatory meeting of UNASUR summit on 4 and 5 December, it was agreed to discuss an energy treaty and a South American citizenship. Furthermore, the possibility of providing a passport to the 400 million inhabitants of the region was opened.
teleSur TV, Dec 22, 2014 (Google Translate) – The agenda of discussions at the next summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which will be held in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, in early December, will include an energy treaty, the sovereignty of natural resources and the South American citizenship, reported Saturday an official source.

EAC leaders meet to decide on constitution of political federation
The East African, Nov 22, 2014 – East Africa enters the most decisive stage in its ambitious quest for a political union this week when the five heads of state launch the writing of a federal constitution and issue a time frame for establishment of a regional government. Political integration … would pave the way for a strong authority to reinforce implementation of the other stages of integration — the Common Market, the Monetary Union and the Customs Union. The presidents of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are expected to make a final decision on what form political federation will take before the draft constitution is put in place.
Africa’s Largest Free Trade Area To Be Launched In Egypt In December – Bernama (Malaysia), Nov 24, 2014 – Africa’s largest free trade area will be launched in Egypt next month during a summit of heads of state and government in Cairo. The free trade area brings together three existing free trade areas — the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

GCC flagGCC:
GCC single currency comes down to politics, says ex-IMF boss
Arabian Business , Nov 25, 2014 – A former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said there needs to be greater political will before a common currency can be implemented in the GCC. Rodrigo de Rato, who was managing director of the IMF between 2004-07 and the finance minister of Spain when the euro was established in the 1990s, said the Gulf would have to establish fiscal as well as monetary union, which could result in political representation for citizens, as in the Eurozone.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Sen. Sessions reacts: We must stop Emperor Obama
Jeff Sessions Sept 2014Sen. Jeff Sessions, USA Today, Nov 20, 2014
Americans defeated President Obama’s disastrous
amnesty plans
both in Congress and at the voting booth. Tonight, President Obama defied an entire nation and declared that he will impose his rejected amnesty through the brute force of executive order.
And now, with a single pen stroke, President Obama is obliterating what little remains of Americans’ immigration protections. Not only will millions of low-wage illegal immigrants rush into the labor market, but they will collect billions in taxpayer dollars as well. These costly government benefits range from child tax credits, to public housing to the likelihood that amnestied immigrants will rely on taxpayers for medical and retirement benefits.
Only a short time ago, President Obama himself admitted this action would be illegal and unconstitutional: “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own” he explained, adding “that’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” President Obama also said that: “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
….A second hammer blow will be dealt by the president’s unilateral increase in foreign worker programs for large corporations, including technology corporations. Currently, two-thirds of all new jobs in the IT industry are being filled by foreign workers — and yet the president wants to dramatically surge foreign worker admissions even further. This at a time when the Census Bureau tells us more than 11 million Americans with science, technology, engineering and math degrees don’t have jobs in those fields….
The great task before the nation now is to resist this imperial decree and return control of this nation to its own citizens — as our Constitution established. That task begins with Congress refusing to allow a dime of money to be spent executing this unlawful amnesty. This a routine, constitutional and crucial application of congressional power.
If Democrat lawmakers join Republicans in blocking funds for his unlawful plan, the president will be stopped. Americans must ask their representatives this one question: do you serve the citizens of this country and their Constitution — or not?
Using this same line of reasoning, Americans should go further, and ask this question to their representatives while demanding Obama’s impeachment.


Road, rail, waterways to link entire South Asia
The Daily Star (Bangladesh), Nov 20, 2014 – To boost economic activities in the region, the Saarc nations are likely to sign six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on rail, road, water and air connectivity among the member states.
The member countries will jointly set up the Electricity Grid Protection System and the System Operation and Settlement Mechanism for cross-border electricity trade.

Kenya To Introduce Machine Readable IDs
EAC - MAPCitizen News (Kenya), Nov 18, 2014 – The government has now announced the introduction of machine readable identity cards to facilitate cross border travel for its citizens within the East African Community from 2015. While making the announcement, EAC, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said that this is in line with the decision by the Republics of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to permit the use of National ID’s voting cards and student ID’s as travel documents among their citizens. Kandie further indicated that the EAC partner states are developing an EAC electronic passport (e-passport) for purposes of enabling international travel for EAC citizens.

Steinmeier proposes direct EU-Eurasian Economic Union dialogue, including on Ukraine
Eurasian UnionKyiv Post, Nov 18, 2014 – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has proposed arranging direct dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to settle issues between them.

Kyrgyzstan Has ‘No Alternative’ To Closer Russia Ties – Prime Minister
Eurasia Review, Nov 19, 2014 – The slowdown of Russia’s economy is inflicting pain across Central Asia. But impoverished Kyrgyzstan has no choice but to stay close to Moscow, Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev tells In an exclusive interview in Bishkek, Otorbaev addressed criticism of Kyrgyzstan’s decision to join the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, his country’s energy crisis….

ECOWAS Implements Common External Tariff Effective January 1, 2015
Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Nov 18, 2014 – ECOWAS member countries effective January 1, 2015, will begin the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, CET. This means that member countries will be paying a uniform tariff at all borders in the sub-region.

There’s never been a better time for Saarc: Bangladeshi official
saarc-mapLivemint (Hindustan Times, India), Nov 19, 2014 – The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), often described derisively by critics as a talk shop, is at a crossroads with people of the region seeking regional integration and governments of the region grudgingly realizing its potential, a Bangladeshi official said on Tuesday. “Despite all our frustrations, the situation in South Asia has dramatically changed and there has never been a better time (for Saarc) to move towards South Asian regional integration—developing it into a South Asian community,” said Gowher Rizvi, international affairs adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…. Another reason was that all major challenges confronting South Asia were transnational in nature, whether it was climate change, drug trafficking or terrorism, Rizvi said.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Exclusive — Report: Obama’s Executive Amnesty Will Give Illegal Aliens Public Benefits
Brietbart, Nov 17, 2014 – “….Thus, the new grant of deferred action would make these illegal aliens eligible for all the benefits described above. Additionally, because DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] beneficiaries are barred from enrolling in Obamacare by regulation, not legislation, HHS could revoke the eligibility bar at any time.”
And the Republican leadership will not interfere because this “free flow of goods, services and people” across borders is the very definition of their so-called “free trade.”

GCC flagGulf-Cooperation-CouncilGCC & ‘SUNNI UNION’ :
Federalism can manage instability and conflict in the Sunni world
Daily Star (Lebanon), Nov 18, 2014 – The sectarianism plaguing the Sunni belt is affecting even the relatively stable oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf, where a schism within the Gulf Cooperation Council is spurring new tensions …. It is time for the Sunni world to recognize the need for a federalist approach to manage the instability and conflict that plagues it.
[The EU Offers a Model for Unifying the Middle East – Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), June 19, 2014]

Bring China in
Reupblica (Nepal), Nov 18, 2014 – China, having the status of an observer till date, is eager to gain the permanent membership in the organization …. China’s support to her South Asian neighbors, especially in development works and security, has escalated in the recent years …. much to India’s suspicion.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Obama’s immigration overhaul could put burden on states
NAU - Caution SignFox News, Nov 15, 2014 – President Obama’s looming announcement on major changes to the U.S. immigration system could take a financial and economic toll on the states, some critics say – as undocumented residents come out of the shadows and, in some cases, become eligible for benefits.
Cruz: Obama immigration action would be ‘defiant of voters’ – The Hill, Nov 14, 2014 – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Friday characterized President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration as “angry and defiant of voters” following Republican wins in the midterm elections. “I hope he does not do so. If he does, it would be wrong, it would be unconstitutional, and it would be angry and defiant of voters,” Cruz said Friday…
Illegal Immigration, ‘Free Trade’ and the ‘Free Flow of People’

ASEAN’s strategy to handle the rise of China
Jakarta Post, Nov 15, 2014 – ASEAN can apply a dual strategy of “balancing” and “bandwagoning”…. to confront external threats. In balancing, states align with other states to collectively deal with the threats. Meanwhile, in bandwagoning, states seek security by making an alliance with the state from which a threat emanates.
Obama vows stronger partnership with ASEAN – Rappler, Nov 13, 2014 – “That’s why the US is committed to strenghtening ASEAN both as an instiution and as a community of nations bound by our shared interests and values,” he said…. Obama also said the United States would focus on the region as a whole and not just on specific nations.

Ecuador Ready to Inaugurate UNASUR”s New Headquarters
UNASUR - Clenched FistPrensa Latina, Nov 14, 2014 – Ecuador is ready for the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), where construction works are over and only finishing touches are pending, foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, said today. By housing the the headquarters of the regional bloc, Quito becomes the capital of South America and that makes us proud, the minister told reporters.
UNASUR Supports Cuba Participation at Summit of the Americas – Cuban News Agency, Nov 12, 2014 – The general secretary of the Union of Latin American Nations (UNASUR), Ernesto Samper criticized the exclusion of Cuba from the Summit of the Americas describing the action as sitting at the dinner table without inviting a family member.

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC:
Govt authorises Foreign Minister to sign Saarc pacts (Nepal), Nov 13, 2014 – The government has authorized the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey to sign agreements on behalf of Nepal during the upcoming 18th Saarc Summit slated for November 26-27…. Preparations are being made to sign agreements on various issues such as uninterrupted movement of vehicles among Saarc countries, development of railway tracks, cooperation in cross-border power exchange, environmental degradation in the name of development and alertness about natural calamities.

GCC flagGCC:
Gulf Security Pact sees the light
GCC leaders could meet ahead of summit
GCC Secretariat assistant director for security issues Brigadier Hazza’a Al-Hajri ….
said the preparatory meeting of the undersecretaries came up with a number of significant recommendations, chief of which was adopting a study by the Secretariat on the establishment of a pan-GCC police force.


Eurasec FlagEurasian Union, IranEURASIAN UNION:
Iran’s Getting New Nuclear Reactors Courtesy of Russia
New York Magazine, Nov 11, 2014 – The deal between Russia and Iran was signed Tuesday and includes provisions for developing more nuclear-power units. Russia may also consider relocating some parts of its nuclear-fuel production to Iran, according to Reuters. Perhaps another attempt by Vladimir Putin to woo a major player into his Eurasian Economic Union?

EU-flagEU - european_union_mapEUROPEAN UNION:
Court Lets E.U. Nations Curb Immigrant Welfare
New York Times, Nov 11, 2014 – The European Union’s top court put its thumb on the scale of one of the bloc’s most divisive issues Tuesday, ruling in effect that richer countries can limit access to welfare benefits for citizens from poorer ones.
Cameron faces Tory revolt over Euro arrest warrant plans – ITV (UK), Nov 10, 2014 – David Cameron is facing the prospect of a large rebellion from backbench Conservatives as MPs prepare to vote on whether Britain should opt in to the European Arrest Warrant…. But some Tories oppose the measure because of concerns that it is too easy for UK citizens to be extradited on relatively minor charges to countries where they may have no guarantee of a fair trial.

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC and the FREE FLOW OF PEOPLE’ :
Nitin Gadkari pushes for seamless road travel across Saarc nations
Economic Times (India), Nov 12, 2014 – Barely weeks before the SAARC summit in Nepal, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari has pushed the proposal of an umbrella agreement among all nations in the region for seamless movement of passengers and cargo across borders.


ECOWAS-MAPEbola won’t disrupt free movement in West Africa; Leaders pledge
GhanaWeb, Nov 9, 2014 – Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS have allayed fears that the Ebola outbreak could disrupt the free movement of goods and people in the sub-region. The leaders underlined their commitment to the ECOWAS principles of free movement in spite of the outbreak of the disease in some member countries.

New joust over sea dispute expected at ASEAN
ASEAN map_1GMA News (Philippines) | Agence France-Presse, Nov 10, 2014 – Rival claims have gnawed away at ties between Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines and regional powerhouse China, which claims nearly all of the sea, including waters near its smaller neighbours’ shores. The issue has also become a key testing ground for diplomacy between China and the United States, which has cozied up to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as part of a wider eastwards foreign policy “pivot.” Leaders including US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will gather in Naypyidaw for the two-day ASEAN summit from Wednesday

Midterm Exit Polls: 75% Reject Exec Amnesty, 80% Don’t Want Foreign Workers Taking Jobs from Americans
Breitbart, Nov 6, 2014 – Overall, strong “majorities of men (75%), women (74%), whites (79%), blacks (59%), and Hispanics (54%),” in addition to tri-partisan majorities of “self-identified Republicans (92%), Independents (80%), and Democrats (51%)” did not want Obama to enact an executive amnesty on his own. Only 20% of voters wanted Obama to move forward with his executive amnesty.
Anti-Amnesty, Pro-Border Security GOP Candidates in TX, GA Got Over 40% of Latino Vote – Breitbart, Nov 6, 2014 – GOP Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott received 44% of the Latino vote, which was more than the 38% of the Hispanic vote that Republican Governor Rick Perry, who enacted and supported Texas’s version of the DREAM Act, received in 2010, as the New York Times noted…. In Georgia, NAU - Caution SignGOP Senate candidate David Perdue, who signed the Federation of American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) anti-amnesty pledge and ran strongly against President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, received 42% of the Hispanic vote.
George W. Bush Officials Want Amnesty: ‘High Time’ to Move Forward – Breitbart, Nov 6, 2014 – Former George W. Bush officials Carlos Gutierrez and Ari Fleischer want Republicans to act immediately on amnesty legislation after winning back Congress…. George W. Bush tried to pass comprehensive amnesty legislation last decade with Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ)….
Obama, McConnell Share Bipartisan Agenda in FTA
After Republicans took Congress, fast-tracking the controversial TPP trade deal will strengthen cooperation between the two U.S. parties.
teleSur English, Nov 6, 2014 – While the two biggest U.S. parties will have to fight it out in the newly Republican-held Congress, Republican Mitch McConnell, possibly the next Senate majority leader, said there is one thing he supports along with Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama which is international trade. Some analysts say the Republican gains in Congress will accelerate fast-track legislation to enable an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

UNASUR - Clenched FistVictorious Socialism!
El Universal (Venezuela), Nov 6, 2014 (Google Translate) – The people are never wrong when choosing their rulers and this time Dilma Rousseff and Vázquez managed clear victories…. The Workers Party of Brazil and the Frente Amplio of Uruguay, both close friends of Venezuela, ensure continuity of Mercosur and Unasur, whose defeated opponents threatened to sabotage formally abandoning.
Expectant Venezuela for Original of Bolivar”s Jamaica Letter
Prensa Latina, Nov 5, 2014 – The find in Ecuador of the Spanish original of the Jamaica Letter, written by Simon Bolivar on September 6, 1815, generates ecxpectation among Venezuelan history lovers…. Now, the Government of Caracas is coordinating with Ecuador to exhibit the Jamaica Letter before the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on occasion of its 200th anniversary next year. …. Bolivar analyzes the situation of the Latin American nations that were fighting to free themselves from Spanish colonialism and discerns the possibility of success in the union of all those countries.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
Ted Cruz Threatens to Force Senate Vote on Obama’s Amnesty Plans
The Blaze, Nov 6, 2014 – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and five other Republican senators on Wednesday threatened to use “all procedural means necessary” to force the Senate to take action against President Barack Obama’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants…. but warned of consequences if Reid does nothing.
“[S]hould you decline to defend the Senate and the Constitution from executive overreach, the undersigned senators will use all procedural means necessary to return the Senate’s focus during the lame duck session to resolving the constitutional crisis created by President Obama’s lawless amnesty.”

Japan-ASEAN draft sees enhanced security cooperation in the region
Global Post, Nov 6, 2014 – Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will agree to enhance cooperation among them to create a “more peaceful and stable security environment” in the region, a Japan-ASEAN diplomatic source said Thursday, an implicit reference to disputes in the South China Sea…. Japan has been trying to bolster security ties with ASEAN amid China’s assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

SAARC Flagsaarc-mapSAARC:
Hamid Ansari bats for greater economic integration among Saarc nations
LiveMint | Hindustan Times (India), Nov 6, 2014 – The persistence of restrictive non-tariff measures, lack of harmonisation of standards and customs procedures and poor connectivity are some of the issues hindering the economic integration of South Asia, vice president Hamid Ansari said on Wednesday while inaugurating the seventh South Asia Economic Summit (SAES)….
“Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries must consider the mutual benefits that could be derived from greater economic integration and thereby contribute to the furtherance of their common developmental agenda.”

Eurasec FlagEurasian UnionEURASIAN UNION:
UK Minister: We feel sorry for Armenia’s accession to Eurasian Economic Union
Azeri-Press Agency, Nov5, 2014 – “Armenia ignored the agreements of the European Union and we feel sorry for its accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. However, it is Armenia’s own decision. Armenia won’t be allocated funds by the European Union”, he said.

nafta-flagNORTH AMERICA:
White House: Obama ‘Bound And Determined’ to Act on Amnesty Despite Mid-Term Election Results
Breitbart, Nov 4, 2014 – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters that President Obama was “bound and determined” to use his executive power to grant amnesty for illegal immigrants despite the results of the mid-term elections.

EU-flagEU - european_union_mapEUROPEAN UNION:
Germany: EU freedom of movement not negotiable
U-T San Diego | Associated Press, Nov 3, 2014 – Germany wants Britain to remain an “active and committed” European Union member but is firm in insisting that the principle of free movement of workers within the bloc isn’t negotiable, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Monday.
About Half of Britons Ready to Secede from European Union: Poll
RIA Novosti (Russia), Nov 3, 2014 – A poll conducted last week by internet-based market research firm YouGov found that 44 percent of Britons would favor leaving the European Union, significantly outnumbering the 35 percent that favored staying put, the polling firm’s website notes.

Rand Paul to Obama: “Prioritize” Passage of Trans-Pacific Partnership
The New American, Nov 3, 2014 – Why would Rand Paul, a man who has in the past demonstrated a remarkable adherence to the principles of the Constitution, make his own “pivot” away from those doctrines and toward a pact as pernicious as the TPP? Perhaps the answer is found in this paragraph from a story on Paul’s speech printed in The Diplomat:
“As a Republican presidential hopeful, Paul likely recognizes that his and the party’s interests are best served by trying to find some issues on which Republicans can cooperate with the administration. This would give the American electorate confidence that the Republican Party is interested in governing, and would make it harder for Democrats to use disgust with the Republican Party to mobilize the Democratic base in the 2016 election.”
With the exception of Paul’s father, former congressman Ron Paul, it seems that when constitutionalists begin to crave the chair in the Oval Office, their fidelity to the principles of republicanism is swapped in exchange for approval by the principals of the Republicans.
TPP a ‘Back Door’ to Deepen NAFTA: Mexico Ambassador

Arab League flagARAB LEAGUE:
Egypt, Gulf Arab Allies Eye Anti-Militant Alliance
ABC News | Associated Press, Nov 3, 2014 – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are discussing the creation of a military pact to take on Islamic militants, with the possibility of a joint force to intervene around the Middle East, The Associated Press has learned…. The discussions reflect a new assertiveness among the Middle East’s Sunni powerhouses, whose governments — after three years of post-Arab Spring turmoil in the region — have increasingly come to see Sunni Islamic militants and Islamist political movements as a threat.

Arab League flagisrael-flagARAB LEAGUE & ISRAEL:
Arab League Threatens ‘Untold Consequences’ over Temple Mount
Arab League’s deputy chief calls for international, Arab pressure to ensure Jews remain unable to pray at their holiest site.
Arutz Sheva (Israel), Nov 2, 2014 – Jews are forbidden to pray on the Mount, in what activists say amounts to capitulation to Muslim pressure by the Israeli government. Arab and Muslim leaders often refer to Jewish visitors as “settlers,” and characterize their visits as attempts to “storm” the Al Aqsa mosque, despite the peaceful nature of the visits and the fact that Jews do not attempt to enter the mosque.

Pacific Islands Forum to be reviewed
Radio New Zealand, Nov 2, 2014 – Australia is to host a top-level meeting of Pacific leaders to review the structure of the region’s organisations as Fiji refuses to rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum. This was agreed at talks in Suva between Fiji’s foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and his visiting Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop.

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