Monthly Archives: November 2014

France to vote on Palestine 28th November

There’s a vote on recognising the State of Palestine in the French National Assembly on the 28th

http://www.afp.com/fr/info/resolution-pour-un-etat-palestinien-vers-un-vote-le-28-novembre-lassemblee

After Sweden and Britain vote now we have France

But it seems to be an irreversible trend generally since with the replacement of the hopeless Catherine Ashton (UK) by Federica Mogherini (Italy) as EU foreign affairs chief, there is a confirmation that Europe as a whole is going to try and set up a Palestinian state

http://www.dw.de/eu-foreign-affairs-chief-mogherini-calls-for-palestinian-state/a-18048838

This has something to do with the fact that the US administration is now “hands-off” on any European moves on this score, whereas before, it would push against it

Tareq Ghandour dies after bleeding internally for six hours in Egyptian prison

Dr Tareq Mahmoud El-Ghandour, Professor of Dermatology in Ain Shams University, died after suffering internal bleeding in Abu Zaabal prison, Egypt.

El-Ghandour bled for six hours from his oesophagus, he had had an operation on his liver.

According to private sources, El-Ghandour’s heart stopped due to neither the prison hospital nor the Liver Institute in Shibin being ready to deal with heart failure which led to him slipping into a coma for 24 hours, and eventually dying this morning.

Sources revealed that there had been numerous requests to transfer him to a specialist centre, such as Ain Shams University Hospital, but the authorities refused.

Last April, a judge at the Police Academy Court handed El-Ghandour a prison sentence after he was found guilty of the charge of protesting without obtaining a license in the events of Nozha Street, and joining an outlawed group with other professors Dr Amr Adel Sayed, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Ain Shams University, and Dr Zakir Musa from Al-Azhar University Faculty of Engineering, and about 24 students from Al-Azhar University.

El-Ghandour was arrested on December 18, 2013, in his home after armed security forces stormed into his apartment. The officers broke his door down and destroyed the contents of his flat, stealing nearly 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,797) and his car. He was held in custody without charge.

The professor was one of the leading medical fellows in dermatology at the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University. He had supervised over 100 postgraduate students in scientific research and has many publications in the field of dermatology and infertility.

 

Egyptian Navy Ship attacked by insurgent “terrorists”

Back in December 2013 I warned that the unacceptable US and EU backing for the Egyptian coup on the basis of an Orwellian idea called the “roadmap to democracy” was going to make it impossible for the Muslim Brotherhood peaceful revolutionary strategy to hold, especially since the majority of Muslim Brotherhood leaders are behind bars.

I said that this would mean Egypt’s youth, especially in the South and East, would cease to follow the MB’s peaceful strategy and turn to violence

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/18/the-useu-egyptian-roadmap-to-hell/

This has been borne out since there have been 18 fatal attacks against the Egyptian army in Sinai involving over 100 soldiers and some 25 various explosions in Cairo and in provincial cities aimed at the police which involved over 25 policemen.

See some recent such events by opening links:

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/attacks-egypts-sinai-kill-two-police-three-soldiers-officials-1335048226

and

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/cairo-metro-bomb-blast-injures-16-1770201706

Now we have the militants escalating to attack Egyptian Navy ships in the Mediterranean, according to Agence France Presse

http://www.afp.com/en/node/3049133

Libyan justice shines a light on endemic Egyptian corruption

Amira abu l-Fotouh writes:

There is no doubt that the Supreme Constitutional Court ruling to dissolve the Tobruk parliament cobbled together by Haftar and Sisi, and cancelling its associated government, as well as all agreements made during its term, is considered to be a blow to Al-Sisi’s coup regime. This is especially so because his government in Cairo insisted on spearheading the counter-revolution across the border in Libya led by Haftar and remnants of Gaddafi’s regime against the February 14 revolutionaries who overthrew the latter. Coup leader Al-Sisi and his regional supporters want to eliminate the Arab revolutions and eradicate anything associated with the Arab Spring. They fear that the revolutionary winds will reach their own countries, which are on the verge of exploding, and blow away their weak regimes. Hence, they are supporting all the counter revolutions in the region with money and weapons in order to return repressive tyrants to power, in a reflection of how they govern their own people.

This conspiratorial alliance, which Al-Sisi is spearheading in its battle with the Arab Spring, was dealt a harsh blow by Libya’s Constitutional Court, which proved that the judiciary is sound and untainted by politics, unlike its neighbour. In Egypt, the judiciary has slipped into a swamp of disgrace, making it a laughing stock around the world. I salute the Libyan judiciary and shower shame on the Egyptian judiciary that has become so corrupt.

Al-Sisi’s regime concluded several military and security agreements with the Tobruk government by which it will help and train the Libyan army. These agreements also give Egypt the right to intervene in Libya militarily to protect it from any danger, and consider the Dawn of Libya forces a threat that must be fought. The regime was not in need of such agreements because Egypt is already providing military and logistical aid by allowing the UAE air force to use its airfields from which they fly sorties to bomb the Libyan people in Tripoli, Benghazi and other areas controlled by the revolutionaries. The coup-controlled media refuses to refer to them as such, saying instead that they are “gunmen” and “terrorists”.

Al-Sisi’s regime has sided with the minority of Libyans who only control 10 per cent of their country’s territory. He has opted not to follow Algeria’s lead, which chose the political route in order to resolve the Libya crisis; indeed, Al-Sisi is trying to widen and expand the crisis by means of his blatant one-sided support. It is as if he is seeking actively to increase the division within Libya, just as he did in Egypt on the way to dividing the country. He wants to have a “loyal” country on Egypt’s western border even though his dream of Libya being completely overthrown and handed over to Haftar and his supporters has been crushed.

Originally on Middle East Monitor

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/blogs/politics/15168-constitutional-rule-is-a-new-blow-for-libya

But see also al-Jazeera’s programme on the subject, which highlights the declaration of support by the leadership of the Libyan army for the Constitutional Court’s decision to dissolve the Tobruk parliament, and the rejection of the decision by those elements affected, by opening link

http://www.aljazeera.net/programs/revolutionrhetoric/2014/11/8/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B7%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%A3%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86

 

 

 

Kuroda, Abe’s shaman taking Japan helter-skelter into oblivion

I have been writing consistently about the fact that in the QE world, the combined monetary policy of the Western Central Banks is crushing the real economy.

Nowhere, I have argued, is this felt more than in Japan where the ageing and diminishing population is becoming more and more introverted, incapable of comprehending their alienation from the system as it has been run for the past 25 years.

Japan’s elites are staring rigidly into the oncoming headlights of economic and societal collapse.

Here is more news about the exponentially growing madness at the BoJ

Leika Kihara writes on Reuters Oct 22 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/21/japan-economy-boj-idUSL3N0SG7IO20141021)

Izuru Kato is a soft-spoken and bookish economist, but his dismissal of the Bank of Japan’s stimulus policy as “monetary shamanism” is ringing loud in the ears of bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Kuroda’s policy of quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) increases the money the bank supplies to the financial system by buying high-quality assets. It is aimed at lowering real interest rates, pushing up inflation and stimulating private demand to revive an economy that has stagnated for two decades.

Kato says it relies too much on psychology, and academics and former policymakers are increasingly agreeing with him.

His weekly research notes – with witty insights stretching from monetary policy to how the poor lime crop in Mexico is inflating margarita prices – have become a must-read for investors and central bankers.

Years of experience as a money market broker at the receiving end of the BOJ’s market operations has made Kato, now economist and president of the Totan Research think-tank, a dab hand at interpreting the messages of BOJ policymakers.

He remembers, and was critical of, the bank’s previous failed effort in quantitative easing (QE) in the five years to 2006.

The 49-year-old took an even dimmer view of QQE, though few were listening as sentiment picked up and Tokyo shares rose.

Now, as markets lose faith that QQE will achieve the BOJ’s central policy plank that inflation will rise to 2 percent from early next year, he has the ear of many more.

The policy is flawed, he argues, because it fails to explain why inflation should rise when economic growth is subdued, and relies instead on people’s belief that the stimulus will cause prices to rise enough to encourage them to spend now.

“While other central bank governors use similar tactics, Kuroda is among the most extreme ‘shaman’ of them all,” Kato said in a recent interview. “But there are limits to how long you can keep affecting expectations. The transmission channel of QQE just isn’t clear.”

NO WAY OUT

Advocates of QQE say Kuroda’s massive stimulus is reducing already low interest yields, which should lower expectations of future real borrowing costs and lift inflation expectations.

But Kato’s criticisms are resonating with those BOJ policymakers who always had some reservations about QQE.

“He’s spot on about a lot of things,” said one central banker and a friend of Kato. “He’s very knowledgeable about the technicalities of monetary policy, perhaps more than even some of us at the BOJ.”

A majority on the board has already expressed doubts on the feasibility of setting a two-year timeframe for hitting the inflation goal or on the BOJ’s optimistic economic outlook.

What sets Kato apart from many QQE sceptics is his warnings on the dangers even if Kuroda hits the inflation target.

Three years into the introduction of QQE last April, consumer prices could rise more than 9 percent, which households would find hard to manage with wage growth still slow, he argues.

And higher inflation would push up long-term interest rates and raise the cost of financing Japan’s huge public debt, he says, putting at risk premier Shinzo Abe’s efforts to lift the economy out of stagnation.

Moreover, the BOJ’s bloated balance sheet will exceed the size of Japan’s economy in 2018 if the current pace of asset buying continues, which will make an exit from QQE extremely difficult, potentially triggering a bond market sell-off, he says in his recent book, titled “No way out for the BOJ”.

“What’s worrying is that the current BOJ board does not seem to have the readiness to be well prepared for when they have to exit QQE,” he said in the book.

In such circumstances, says Miyako Suda, an academic who served as a BOJ board member for a decade until 2011, the central bank might need to call on Kato’s services.

“When you think about the time the BOJ were to end QQE, it would be nice to have someone well versed in market functions like him.”