10 October 2014   Leave a comment

The Hong Kong protests seem to have died down, but the Beijing government has broken off negotiations with the protesters after the leaders of the protests refused to encourage the protesters to leave the streets.  Perhaps the street protests will return, but the next steps are unclear.  One thing is certain:  the discontent will not simply disappear.  The issues are not merely political–they are also economic.  The disparities between rich and poor in Hong Kong are one of the underlying causes of the dissatisfaction.

For those of you who follow economic news, you know that the price of oil has gone down dramatically.  Part of the decline is due to reduced demand in world markets because economic growth has declined globally.  But the oil producers, specifically Saudi Arabia, has continued to pump oil even though demand has gone down.  This strategy appears to be a deliberate strategy to harm two other oil producers–Iran and Russia–who demand upon a very high price for oil  Michael Klare, a Professor at Hampshire College, argues that this strategy is designed to persuade Iran to drop its nuclear program and Russia to stop its support for President Assad of Syria.  The theory is certainly plausible, and we will have to see if it works.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014.  Yousafzai is a Pakistani teenager who has worked hard promoting education for women and girls despite being shot by extremists who wished to silence her advocacy.  Stayarthi is an Indian who has tirelessly worked to stop child trafficking and labor.   The award is, as is always the case, a political statement against those who do not believe in the equal rights of women and children.  But it goes further by offering the award to an Indian and a Pakistani together.

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Posted October 10, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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