27 November 2016   Leave a comment

Next Sunday, Italians will vote on a proposed constitutional refirm that would take some powers away from both the Upper House of the legislature and from local governments.  The reform, pushed hard by Prime Minister Renzi, are designed to make the Italian more efficient and less prone to gridlock.  Today, tens of thousands of Italians protested the reform.  Prime Minister Renzi will likely step down if the reform is defeated in the national referendum, and there is no obvious coalition government to take Renzi’s place.

The recent decision of the Indian government to retire large bank notes from circulation has led to a great deal of controversy and there are many in the Indian Parliament that are scheduled to protest the decision tomorrow.  But the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has shown no sign of backing down and has indicated that his ultimate goal is to create a cashless society.  Moodi argues that the move is designed to limit the possibilities for corruption which he believes disproportionately affects the poor.  But the move to an all electronic system of exchange gives the state incredible access to information about all citizens.

The Foreign Ministry of North Korea has sent a memorandum to the newly elected Trump Administration concerning North Korea’s relationship with the US.  The memorandum is a brief of all the hostile actions North Korea believe that the US has committed against North Korea during the Obama Administration. The assessment of the memo is that

“The ongoing economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. are indeed the toughest of all times and they are vicious hostile acts seeking to suffocate the DPRK’s overall economy, undermine the people’s livelihood and ultimately isolate and stifle the DPRK.

“As shown by the facts above, during the last five years the U.S. has designated the DPRK as the primary target for attack and regime change in the implementation of their aggressive Asia-Pacific domination strategy and steadily and systematically intensified political, military and economic pressure on it.”

The memo then describes the nuclear weapons program of North Korea as an act of legitimate self-defense:

“All the facts above clearly substantiate the truth that the root cause of escalated tension on the Korean peninsula lies with the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threats against the DPRK, not the latter’s nuclear and missile tests.

“The DPRK has chosen the road of possessing nuclear weapons as a self-defensive measure to safeguard its state and system from the constant nuclear threat of the U.S. We are strengthening our nuclear forces both in quality and quantity, holding fast to the line of simultaneously developing the national economy and nuclear forces as our strategic line.”

It seems unlikely that President-Elect Trump will agree with this assessment.

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Posted November 27, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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