Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan to be held in October 2011

From RIA Novosti:

BISHKEK, May 20 – RIA Novosti. Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan will be held in October 2011, the deputy chairman of the Provisional Government of the Republic, Omurbek Tekebayev, responsible for constitutional reform, told journalists.

“The October 2011 presidential election should end, so as to organize a legitimate and peaceful transfer of power until January 31” – he said.

Tekebayev believes that all political forces “will be thrown out” on the October parliamentary elections this year,[2010] “since all the powers are concentrated in the Prime Minister, not the President.”

“The president will have a minimum of authority. The fate of the head of government will be addressed in the parliamentary elections”, – said the deputy head of interim government.

Tekebayev does not believe that the postponement of presidential elections to next year could lead to destabilization in the country.

Source: RIA Novosti

Advertisements

Pfizer to close eight factories and lay-off six thousand people

From Sabah:

Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company is to close eight factories and lay-off six thousand people. Pfizer will lay off six thousand people in Ireland, Puerto Rico and the United States close eight factories until the end of 2015 the company announced. The company will in the next few years close additional six factories to reduce operations. Pfizer will close three pharmaceutical factories in Puerto Rico, Ireland and the United States, a biotechnology factory in Ireland, and two health care factories in the U.S..

Source: Sabah

Bloomberg has this story as well. Read it here.

Greece Receives First Tranche of Financial Help Package from EU

Greece receives first tranche of financial help

Image source: Pravda.ru

This is from the Russian newspaper Pravda:

The first tranche of the agreed financial assistance to Greece has been assigned, said the EU Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Policy Olli Rehn.

In his words, Greece’s partners in the euro zone have wired 14.5 billion euros, and an additional 5,5 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund, to Greece.

On May 2,  at an extraordinary meeting in Brussels, the finance ministers of 16 EU countries adopted a package of financial assistance from the EU and the IMF to Greece  in the amount of 110 billion euros. Eighty billion of which to be assumed by the European Union, including 22 billion from Germany, which is the euro zone’s largest economy. Borrowing agreements with member countries of the euro zone will be bilateral in nature and will be issued under a preferential 5 percent.

Following the meeting of finance ministers from 16 countries of the euro zone, chairman of the EU Group, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that the meeting participants had unanimously agreed that the Greek government was following the right path.

Source: Pravda

and this is from the Turkish newspaper Sabah (updated for translation errors, my Turkish: bad!):

Since Papandreou came to power in Greece in October, the government has scored its first scandal. Greek Tourism Minister Angela Gerekou, who is the wife of Tolis Voskopuolus, a singer, who is being accused of evading 5 million euros in taxes, has resigned over the allegation. A former actor, Gerekou’s resignation was accepted by Prime Minister George Papandreou. In the attempt to get out of the debt crisis the fight against tax evasion and corruption had been among the priorities of the Greek government. This tax scandal hits the government’s credibility.

Source: Sabah

Union State (Союзное государство)

Proposed coat of arms of Union State of Russia and Belarus

Proposed coat of arms of Union State of Russia and Belarus

This is not something one hears about too often, but it turns out to be very interesting. Obviously there will be a conference held in St. Petersburg to discuss the further development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus (Союзное государство России и Беларуси). As per the official publication:

On May 26-27, 2010  a scientific-practical conference “Actual problems of construction and development of the Union State will be held in St. Petersburg (Tauride Palace).

Deputies of the Parliamentary Assembly, representatives of the Standing Committee of the Union State, local executive and legislative authorities, ministries and agencies of Belarus and the Russian Federation, heads of Russian and Belarusian universities, doctoral degrees will participate.

The conference program includes plenary sessions and the work of the five sections on the following topics:

1. The international dimension of the Union State.
2. Innovative interaction between Belarus and Russia as a basis for building the Union State.
3. The Union State and the mass media.
4. The role and significance of major religious denominations in the development of the Union State: the spiritual and moral, civil and patriotic, moral and ethical aspects.
5. Practical problems and prospects of joint activities of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe within the Union State.

One of the main objectives of the conference is to enhance collaboration at all levels of government and public associations of Belarus and Russia in the programs and activities of the Union State.

The conference, that were held in St. Petersburg in 2000, 2002 and 2004, in Moscow in 2006, and in Gelendzhik in 2008, became a significant social and political event in the life of Russia and Belarus, have demonstrated a significant revitalization of the scientific communities of the two countries to optimize the union building, contributed to further development of Russian-Belarusian integration.

Union State? I didn’t know to much about this Union State, so I had to look it up. Wikipedia says that:

Originally, the Commonwealth of Russia and Belarus was formed on April 2, 1996.[1] The basis of the union was strengthened on April 2, 1997, with the signing of the “Treaty on the Union between Belarus and Russia” at which time its name was changed to the Union of Belarus and Russia.[2] Several further agreements were signed on December 25, 1998, with the intention of providing greater political, economic, and social integration.[2]

Nevertheless, the nature of this original political entity remained exceedingly vague. Under pressure from his own political opponents, who advocated a reunion of the two states, and from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who sought to tie his exceedingly weak economy to Russia’s, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin initiated the creation of the current Union in order to harmonize the political and economic differences between the two nations.[3] A similar proposal had been put forward by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994, envisioning the founding of a “Eurasian Union”, but this proposal was never adopted or seriously pursued.[4] The Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus was signed on December 8, 1999.[5] The intention was to eventually achieve a federation like the Soviet Union; with a common president, parliament, flag, coat of arms, anthem, constitution, army, citizenship, currency, etc. The current Union was ratified by the Russian State Duma on December 22, 1999 and the National Assembly of Belarus on January 26, 2000. The latter is the date the Treaty and the Union officially came into effect.[6]

It seems they are serious about this and other former Soviet Republics seem to be interested as well, among them, most recently Ukraine, on March 30, 2010.
It smacks a bit of a reconstitution of the Soviet Union – at least in geographical terms – though. From the portal of the Union State:

So do we need to pay attention to the possible expansion of Union State in the face of Ukraine? Certainly do. Even reliable western political scientists admit that Russia will not be a super state without Ukraine.

This means that Kiev joining together with Minsk and Moscow the Union State will allow not only developing this project but making it geopolitical subject on the political arena not only in Eurasia but in the whole world.

With Ukraine joining Union state the latter will have the market with approximately 200 million potential customers and this is a real impulse for development of economy of its member-states. Ukrainian economy significantly needs resources that it may get within the scopes of single economic space. That will allow Ukraine getting admission to Belarusian markets and that is more important to Russian market as well without brealing of WTO obligations.

We will see what comes of this. I certainly something I will follow.

An E-Mail from Wall Street to the Rest of the World

From The Reformed Broker via Huffington Post (Note it sounds very much like Wall St, but the origin of the mail has not been established so far, so it could be a hoax):

“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?”

When Fragile Becomes Friable by William Black

This is a very readable 12-page explanation of the concept of ‘control fraud’ and its effect on the economy. It was written by William Black in 2005 and its full title is: When Fragile becomes Friable:  Endemic Control Fraud as a Cause of Economic
Stagnation and Collapse.

The original is here, I have also posted it to Scribd for readability and easier dissemination:

A quote from the document:

Neo-classical economics’ understanding of fraud is so weak that its policy prescriptions,
if adopted wholly, produce strongly criminogenic environments that cause waves of
control fraud.  Neo-classical policies simultaneously make control fraud easier and more
lucrative, dramatically reduce the risk of detection and prosecution by maximizing
“systems capacity” problems, and encourage crime by making it easier for fraudsters to
“neutralize” the social and psychological constraints against deceit and fraud.  Thus the
paradox:  neo-classical economic triumphs produce tragedy.

William Black does not say so, but might the failure of neo-classical economics to recognise fraud as a problem be due to the fact that neo-classical economics is a fraud itself, having as its purpose the enriching of a few while everyone and everything else be damned?

No NATO on May 9, 2010!

NET NATO!

NET NATO!

From an open letter to President Medvedev:

May 9 is a special day for Russia. It is the day commemorate the great achievement of our fathers and grandfathers. The Soviet people paid an enormous price for this victory, in millions of lives.

Why  were NATO troops – our eternal enemy – invited to the parade on May 9? We are told that it is an ally of the last war. But the North-Atlantic military alliance does not have any relation to the allied coalition to victory in 1945 – in the 1945 NATO simply did not exist. On the contrary, it was created to combat the socialist camp, the Soviet Union, during the Cold War. This war we lost: there is no independent state with the most developed industry and the most powerful army anymore. Restructuring in Russia is over, owned by foreigners.

And NATO – the most powerful army on the planet is now known worldwide as predatory. These are not the veteran-winners of the anti-Hitler coalition, but young guys who despise us as a colony, as a “third world” country, convinced that victory in World War II over Hitler went to the U.S.. Our country is surrounded with NATO bases, over Russia to freely fly airplanes of the North Atlantic alliance. At the same time, our army is rapidly shrinking, losing weapons and combat effectiveness. Veterans of the Armed Forces have written an open letter to the President, which sounded the alarm: Our borders have a length of 25,000 kilometers, but we can protect only 800 km. The Army for 20 years has received virtually no armaments, the military equipment has expired shelf-life, and the new ones are produced mainly for sale …

At the parade in honour of the liberation of our homeland from the invaders will be a triumphantly marching those who now are invading foreign countries, causing death and destruction. Russian officers say that the number of foreign troops, visiting Russia in the parade, is much higher than official figures and the media could reach up to 30 000 people. For a parade in a foreign country is the number of military personnel is too much. What if they just do not leave? History – people’s experience – teach us! We remember the rebellion of the White Czechs, who in March 1918, rode the railway passing Samara, just got off the train. Samara did not seem enough …

What is in store for Russia the presence of NATO troops – a “velvet” occupation or a “peacekeeping” operation Yugoslavian-style, to destroy this country? Veterans who fought for the freedom of our country, outraged by the invitation of foreign troops, but no one hears them. Chief U.S. antisovetolog  Zbigniew Brzezinski recently reported to the CIA, that following to the scenario by which the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia would, if it continued the current leadership-style, split into 6-8 parts in the near future, and that the new world order will be built on the ruins of Russia. Allowing the enemy to  march on Red Square, is a sign of our impotence. Bloodlessly was the main opponent of U.S. – the Soviet Union – destroyed, just as bloodlessly destroyed are our people who are dying by 1.5 million a year from poverty and powerlessness (at a rate of loss in the Great Patriotic War! ).

In addition to the real threat of invasion by the strongest army in the world, there is also a moral defeat, and there is great symbolic significance to this ritual – the  passing of invading troops through the main sanctuary of the country. What disturbs is that the parade will be held at the same time in 24 cities of Russia , for example, in Vladivostok – at five o’clock in the afternoon! For whom and why was it necessary that the ritual of the rule of foreign troops be consolidated and carried out simultaneously across the country? Certainly not the Russians. In recognition of their right to this parade, we become slaves, and our children – too. An appeal against this slavery will require us to show civil courage, which is comparable with the military prowess of our ancestors. For fear  of the coming of “restructuring” our people are bound together. Fear and apathy – are a mental illness of the people. But there are many Russian citizens in whose hearts is burning pain for his homeland. Under the Constitution, the power in the country belongs to the people, and we should make officials hear us!

We encourage all citizens to join together and express their common will. The party of the people “VOLYA [en. WILL]”  asks all Russians to campaign “NO to NATO!”. Let there hand in every house, in every car, in every window a poster saying “No NATO!

It behooves us: we have one country and one destiny. Do this quickly, now – tomorrow may be too late! Passage of NATO is the beginning of the final phase of the colonization of Russia. The parade is only a few days away …
Let us not degrade the memory of heroes who defend the homeland! REVIVE RUSSIAN SPIRIT AND COURAGE!
Defense of Motherland from the disappearance of C map of the planet! Defend the country against foreign invaders!

Source: Open-Letter.ru and Volya Naroda.