20 September 2015   Leave a comment

Brazil’s Guanabara Bay will be the site of many of the Olympic Games next year.  Unfortunately, the Bay is an environmental disaster, and the Brazilian government does not seem to be taking effective steps to clean it up.  If it isn’t cleaned up, then the image of Brazil will be sullied.  Given the economic problems besetting the country and the political crisis that seems to have weakened the government, it seems unlikely that Brazil will be able to summon up the resources and the will to meet its responsibilities as host of the Olympic Games.

Guanabara Bay

China’s assertion of control over the South China Sea represents some major changes in policy from its earlier positions on maritime control.  When China was a developing power, it shared many of the positions currently held by other developing powers such as Vietnam and the Philippines.  But as a major power, its current policies conflict with those positions.  The contrast is clear:  China’s current stance on the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is quite similar to the US positions in the early negotiations on the treaty.  The US is not yet a signatory to UNCLOS but has announced that it will follow the rules of UNCLOS.

The left-wing party, SYRIZA, has apparently come in first in the Greek election with about 35% of the vote.   The conservative party, New Democracy, conceded defeat and came in second.  It is not entirely clear what the outcome of the vote will mean for Greece.  The elections were called because a more radical wing of SYRIZA wanted a stiffer response to the German demands in the debt negotiations.  It seems likely that SYRIZA will forge a coalition with the right-wing Independent Greeks party which is adamantly anti-austerity.  We should probably expect that the debt negotiations will become more difficult in the next few months.

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Posted September 20, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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