In The News (84)



Disturbing Silence
If India continues the blockade, it will definitely bring Nepal down to its knees. Nobody doubts that. But, why is India using a wartime tactic against Nepal? ..... A "blockade" is a very effective tool to instigate suffering, and no country knows this better than Germany, which suffered one of the worst cases of an economic blockade in human history. After the Allies beat Germany in WWI, Britain and France wanted Germany to sign the Treaty of Versailles for immediate peace. To pressure Germany into signing the agreement quickly, the British and the French continued the blockade that they had been imposing on Germany since 1914. Although the war officially ended in November 1918, the blockade continued for eight more months, until July 1919. ..... Germans suffered from malnourishment, rickets, scurvy, tuberculosis, and several other illnesses. The British intelligence reported that in the year 1917, hunger-related typhus was responsible for almost 75 percent of deaths in the city of Dortmund alone. More people died in Germany in the flu epidemic of 1918 than in any other European country. In 1919, reports came out that 10 percent of patients in German hospitals died that year simply because the hospitals could not feed the patients. ...... Famine during the extra eight months of blockade alone killed 250,000 Germans. The government's rationing system fell apart. So, urban populations suffered from chronic hunger due to unequal rationing of food. Rural self-sufficient farmers fared better than urban citizens. In the urban centers, black markets developed to sell food and essential items at exorbitant prices. Dairy prices were 33 percent higher than the market price, meat's was 50 percent higher, and eggs and fruit's were 1,000 percent higher. While the wealthy and the well-connected in Germany managed to feed themselves,

the black market prices killed the urban poor.

...... The current Indian blockade of Nepal has now reached a point where health-related crises have started. For example, this month, hospitals in Jhapa stopped providing dialysis services to patients due to medicine and equipment shortages, and ICU/NICU services have not operated smoothly due to fuel shortage. Recently, the Nepal Medical Association announced that hospitals in Kathmandu Valley will soon have to shut their intensive care, surgeries, and incubation as a result of fuel shortages. Pharmacies in the valley have run out of critical supplies, such as anesthetics and life-saving drugs.

Because Nepal is no Germany, it has taken us only a month of blockade to face imminent public health crisis.

....... Rationing of essentials has allowed price gouging in the market on everything from salt to gas cylinders. Immediately after the blockade, onion prices jumped to over Rs 200 per kg in Kathmandu. The valley's urban poor can no longer afford to purchase gas cylinders. Unequal rationing has also meant thousands of Nepalis queue for hours to buy two liters of petrol while the Rishi Dhamalas walk out of a petrol station with 20 liters of petrol in a public display of "access" and "connection." ..... Some valley dwellers got innovative, and asked their family members in the Tarai to send them gas cylinders and petrol cans. We saw the risks in that process. For example, in Banke, many died when a bus carrying gas cylinders and petrol cans met with an accident, causing the gas cylinders to explode, which caused the petrol to catch fire and engulf the entire bus. In another case, a taxi driver's family in Kathmandu got trapped and burned to death when an emergency supply of petrol stored indoors caught fire. ...... It is surprising that international media has been relatively quiet on the blockade. The loudest opposition, in fact, has come from the Indian media. However, many of those penning the opposition pieces are current or ex-Indian Congress leaders and politicians. Their opposition could simply be a case of opposition politics, rather than true concern for their neighbors. After all, it was the Indian Congress government that imposed an economic blockade against Nepal in 1989 by closing the borders. Therefore, the Indian Congress Party's sudden rise in moral authority on the blockade issue is dubious. ....... The German experience teaches us that a prolonged economic blockade hardens the human spirit and changes people. Scholars have attributed the rise of Nazism and nationalistic policies in Germany to the economic blockade that Germany suffered during the First World War. It is a gross exaggeration to claim that something similar will happen in Nepal. However, there has been a rise in the level of bitterness among Nepalis against India, and some of that is seen even at the top level. A supposedly pro-China politician has been elected the Prime Minister. A known nationalist has been appointed the Foreign Minister and was sent to India to resolve the current mess. The current government has started inquiring China about possibilities of becoming our fuel supplier. ...... The US government has mentioned in the past that it follows India's lead on Nepal-related issues. The EU nations have made their opposition known but not forcefully. The United Nations has mentioned the fuel crisis and its potential impact on earthquake survivors in the coming winter, but has not acknowledged the blockade.

Even China—which has repeatedly informed the Nepali government that it is willing to help out in any way possible—has not called India out on the blockade.

......... If the Sanskrit saying is true, our international friends are complicit in this blockade. Billions of dollars in trade with India is more vital to them than acknowledging the suffering of Nepalis. The international missions claim to be vanguards for peace and security for all. If they can't perform that role,

they don't deserve to be in Nepal, and should be asked to leave. We can start with the UN and the EU.

प्रथम राष्ट्रपतिले किन रोजेनन् ललितपुरको आफ्नै घर ?
राष्ट्रपतिको मतदान भइरहँदा रामवरणलाई डेराकै चिन्ता  
दसैंपछि लगत्तै राष्ट्रपतिको चुनाव हुने पूर्वजानकारी भए पनि समय छँदासम्म काम नगर्ने र अन्तिम घडीमा दौडधूप गर्ने नेपाली प्रचलन राष्ट्रपतिको डेरा खोज्दासमेत कायमै रह्यो । ..... पूर्वराष्ट्रपतिको आवासका लागि ठूलो कम्पाउण्ड एवं सुरक्षाकर्मीहरु समेत बस्न मिल्ने संरचना भएको ठाउँ चाहिएकाले डेरा भेटाउन सकस परेको शीतलनिवास स्रोतले अनलाइनखबरलाई बतायो । ..... अब बन्ने राष्ट्रपतिको कार्यकाल आउँदो दुई वर्षमा सकिनेछ, त्यसपछि राज्यले दुई जना राष्ट्रपतिलाई पाल्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । ...... उसो त म्यानमारकी लोकतान्त्रिक नेतृ आङ सान सुकीले नेपाल आउँदा ८ जना पूर्वप्रधानमन्त्रीहरु देखेर आश्चर्य जनाएकी थिइन् । तर, अब नेपालले डा. रामवरण यादवजस्तै पूर्वराष्ट्रपतिहरुको समेत संख्या बढाउँदै जानेछ, जसको व्यवस्थापनका लागि राज्यकोषमा व्यवभार यसैगरी थपिँदै जानेछ ।
How Chhota Rajan went from small-time crook to one of India’s most wanted gangsters
The 55-year-old criminal has been on Interpol’s most wanted list for two decades for running a crime syndicate that dealt in murders, extortion and smuggling. ...... Journalist Baljeet Parmar has covered the Mumbai underworld for more than 40 years, during which he met Chhota Rajan more than 50 times. ...... late 1970s when the sprawling metropolis of Mumbai was notorious for petty street crimes. .... It was a time when criminals ruled over their respective localities depending on their caste, religion and personal influence. There were almost a dozen criminal gangs operating in different parts of the city, indulging in illicit bootlegging, gambling, extortion, protection and prostitution rackets. ..... Chhota Rajan was one of the hirelings of Bada Rajan. ...... By 1985, the city was in the grips of an ugly gang war between Dawood Ibrahim and the Pathan gang led by Karim Lala. ....... By 1988, when notorious gangster Ashok Joshi of the Arun Gawli gang was brutally murdered in the outskirts of Mumbai, Chhota Rajan had become a name to be reckoned with in Mumbai’s underworld. .... Around the same time, in an effort to curb rising street crime, the Mumbai police started killing notorious criminals in encounters. Sensing trouble, Chhota Rajan fled to Dubai to join his new boss and master Dawood Ibrahim, who had already shifted his base to the Gulf Emirate two years earlier. ..... Chhota Rajan transformed himself into an NRI don. ..... As the lucrative business of contract killings came to a halt, the D-Company branched out into better-paying activities like smuggling and real estate. ..... Then came a major turning point in the history of Mumbai underworld. In December 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished resulting in large-scale Hindu-Muslim riots. The distrust between the two communities widened further after the March 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. Dawood was named as one of the main accused in the blasts. ...... Rajan went on a killing spree by targeting Dawood’s trusted people, blaming them for their involvement in the blasts. Dawood, on the other hand, put Chhota Shakeel on Rajan’s trail to eliminate him. ..... All these years, Rajan remained in close touch with the Indian intelligence agencies, providing them information and clues on the D-Company. The Indian agencies reciprocated by informing Rajan about imminent risks to his life. ..... The circumstances leading to Rajan’s so-called arrest in Bali, Indonesia are yet to be established. As he was always within the reach of the Indian agencies, which could have called and nabbed him any day, his arrest on the basis of an Indian red corner notice raises eyebrows.


Completely outspent by China, India is sticking to its own plan to win over Africa
China has poured billions into Africa, seeking resources to power its economic growth. Between 2000 and 2011, for instance, Chinese investments in Africa rocketed from $210 million to over $3 billion. And by 2025, Beijing expects to provide $1 trillion of financing to African nations.
Here's The Famous Populist Speech Teddy Roosevelt Gave Right After Getting Shot...
Schrank had stalked TR for thousands of miles before getting a clear shot at him in Milwaukee. ...... At one time I promoted five men for gallantry on the field of battle. Afterward in making some inquiries about them I found that two of them were Protestants, two Catholic, and one a Jew. One Protestant came from Germany and one was born in Ireland. I did not promote them because of their religion. It just happened that way. If all five of them had been Jews I would have promoted them, or if all five of them had been Protestants I would have promoted them; or if they had been Catholics. ........

Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.

.... I want every labor man, every labor leader, every organized union man, to take the lead in denouncing disorder and in denouncing the inciting of riot; that in this country we shall proceed under the protection of our laws and with all respect to the laws, I want the labor men to feel in their turn that exactly as justice must be done them so they must do justice. ...... Well, about eighty percent of the trusts are organized in New Jersey. The Standard Oil, the Tobacco, the Sugar, the Beef, all those trusts are organized in the state of New Jersey and the laws of New Jersey say that their charters can at any time be amended or repealed if they misbehave themselves and give the government ample power to act about those laws, and Mr. Wilson has been governor a year and nine months and he has not opened his lips. The chapter describing what Mr. Wilson has done about trusts in New Jersey would read precisely like a chapter describing snakes in Ireland, which ran: "There are no snakes in Ireland." Mr. Wilson has done precisely and exactly nothing about the trusts. ...... You can be progressive or reactionary. Whether you vote Republican or Democratic it does not make a difference, you are voting reactionary. ..... You have labor laws here in Wisconsin, and chamber of commerce will tell you that because of that fact there are industries that will not come to Wisconsin. They prefer to stay outside where they can work children of tender years, where they can work women fourteen and sixteen hours a day, where if it is a continuous industry, they can work men twelve hours a day and seven days a week.
Farewell to America's Middle Class: Unions Are Basically Dead
The U.S. is one of the only rich countries that has reached the (incorrect) conclusion that organizing workers is counterproductive. ..... the International Monetary Fund, for instance, recommended reviving unions as a way for democracies to grow their economies and boost productivity. ..... In the U.S., where less than 9 percent of private-sector workers are organized, they could use a revival. The U.S. has one of the lowest unionization rates in the world, far behind Germany and Canada, and closer to Mexico and South Korea. ..... the U.S. ranks in the bottom third of countries in terms of its work-life balance. Americans work about 1,790 hours per year on average, but workers in most wealthier nations work less than 1,600. 11.8 percent of American adults work long hours; less than 1 percent of Dutch workers put in more than 50 hours a week. ..... The IMF concluded that countries with higher rates of union coverage enjoy lower rates of inequality and lower rates of poverty. Its researchers reasoned that because globalization and technology affect just about every nation, differences in unionization rates and labor regulations are more likely to explain differences in inequality across nations. ....... Unions reduce inequality by bringing up the wages of middle-income and the lowest-paid workers. And workers in unions aren’t just getting better wages—they’re also getting better compensation in general. Unionized workers are 28 percent more likely to be covered by employer-provided health insurance and 54 percent more likely to have a pension. ...... unions have also been shown to boost workers’ productivity, bringing in more money for the firm overall. Unions appear to raise productivity for an interesting reason: Employers of unionized workers tend to spend more on updating their machines and computers and training their workers. They’re more incentivized to do so when an hour of work is relatively more expensive, and this raises productivity overall. This boost also goes toward explaining why unions have no discernible detrimental effect on unemployment. ..... poorer kids have a better chance of being upwardly mobile if their parents are in unions or they live in areas with high union-membership rates..... It could be a requirement that seats on boards of directors be reserved for union members, producing a situation like Germany’s, where it’s common for unions’ presences to be felt on corporate boards. ....... Because unions tend to benefit workers so much, corporate executives seem to have it in their heads that those benefits must, by definition, amount to drawbacks for companies. This antagonistic mindset might be one of the things preventing businesses from realizing that they, too, might be better off with organized labor.

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