Sunday, December 30, 2007

Global Policy Changes - Fair Distribution of Wealth

Address by Federal President Horst Köhler at the opening of the Club of Rome conference on "Policy Changes in the Next Phase of Globalisation"

Excerpt - A key question regarding the fair distribution of wealth which industrialized nations have to answer is: how can we create additional sources of income for employees whose working lives are subject to ever more change and flux, whose salaries are no longer increasing as much as they used to but who, after all, have contributed towards their companies' rapidly rising profits and investment? I believe the answer is to give employees a greater stake in their companies, and in their profits.

I am convinced that the peoples of the world are capable of shaping globalization in such a way that it benefits everyone. The level of productive resources is such that it is possible to ensure that adequate health and safety standards in the workplace apply and that people earn more than starvation wages everywhere. And the worldwide potential for creating income and work is so great that every individual can make a living if the right balance is struck between incentives and responsibility and if we learn to share better. … German Federal President


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Border Controls Vanished in Eastern Europe

A momentous EU day: The number of European countries doing away with border checks expanded on December 21. Most of those joined were behind the Iron Curtain just 20 years ago.

Europe just got bigger. At one minute after midnight local time on early Friday morning, border controls vanished for nine more European Union members, many of them former members of the Soviet Bloc. Fireworks, cheers, music and speeches throughout the morning welcomed the expansion, which means that travellers can move from the far corners of Estonia all the way to the Atlantic coast in Portugal without once encountering a border guard. ...

Not everyone is unreservedly ecstatic about the border openings, however. Even as the new Schengen states have been preparing for months to join the club -- with EU agencies helping them tighten up their eastern borders -- many are concerned that increased travel freedom will come at the price of decreased security. Indeed, Slovakia's entry to Schengen was almost delayed due to the difficulty officials were having in meeting security criteria on the country's rugged eastern border with Ukraine…

Nevertheless, Schengen is well outfitted with an integrated database -- known as the Schengen Information System (SIS) -- that operates as a clearing house for information on all manner of suspicious characters, stolen documents and criminals, allowing a Latvian border guard to immediately find out why, for example, someone may have been turned away at the Italian border. While Schengen states are ultimately responsible for the security of their own borders, they all had to meet a strict list of criteria before being allowed in…

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Climate Change Deal upon US consensus

The Bali Roadmap – “a real breakthrough”

Excerpt - The roadmap does not include the firm emission reduction targets which the European Union and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had been demanding, although it does state that emission cuts are necessary. Environmental groups and some delegates criticized the draft for not going further, describing it as a missed opportunity.

Under the roadmap approved at the Bali summit, nations will hold a two-year series of talks to negotiate a new treaty which will succeed the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012. According to the plan, the successor treaty will be adopted at a UN climate conference in Copenhagen in late 2009.

The roadmap also includes measures to promote the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies to developing countries and to halt deforestation. It also launches a so-called "Adaptation Fund" which will help poor countries cope with the negative consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels. ~SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL

Friday, December 14, 2007

EU Leaders signed the Lisbon Treaty on December 13

Excerpts - EU leaders gathered in Lisbon yesterday to sign the new European Treaty, hoping to put two difficult years behind them after French and Dutch voters rejected the European constitution in 2005. …

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the new treaty would allow Europe to prepare itself to address global problems. "Now it is time to move ahead," he said in his speech in Lisbon. "Europe must tackle numerous challenges, both at home and abroad, and our citizens want results. Globalization is the common denominator of all those challenges."

By presenting the new agreement as less than a constitution, many European governments have been able to argue that it does not need to be presented to the electorates in referenda. Although the treaty will have to be ratified by all the member states, it will be voted on in the national parliaments. Ireland is the only member state that is obliged by its own constitution to hold a referendum. … SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL (article & 13 photos)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Creation of a Mediterranean Union - involving European and African nations

dw - The latest bone of contention was Sarkozy's continued push for the creation of a Mediterranean Union involving European and African nations along the Mediterranean rim, which the French president again promoted during his visit to Algeria this week.

Merkel reacted by suggesting that such an affiliation of nations could lead to "a corrosion of the EU in its core area" and "could release explosive powers in the EU."

Such a frankly undiplomatic reaction was unusual under the circumstances, and suggested that Merkel may have reached a point in her relationship with the French president where she felt it necessary to go public with her discontent… more at

Monday, December 3, 2007

Russia’s Authoritarian Leader Putin Remains in Control

Though the results of yesterday’s Russian national elections show that President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, as expected, clearly won a strong majority of the votes, the conduct of the elections raises questions about the legitimacy of the outcome and of the party's claim to rightfully govern Russia. This makes it all the more concerning that the Kremlin will likely use the results to reshape Russia's political landscape, allowing Putin to extend his political influence beyond the end of his presidential term next spring… (Wall Street Journal)

Putin is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third consecutive term, but he clearly wants to stay in power. A movement has sprung up in recent weeks to urge him to become a "national leader," though what duties and powers that would entail are unclear… (AP Associated Press)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Current Irritations in German Relations with China

In an interview, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discusses the cooling relations between Berlin and Beijing following Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Invitation to the Chancellery
The chancellor has to have the freedom to decide whom she receives and where. In that regard we won't let anyone interfere with what we do. In terms of the current deep irritations in our relations with China, it is of course regrettable that the dialogue about law-based government that has been painstakingly built up over years, and in which human rights has been placed at the forefront, has now been interrupted. That is also true of the cancellation of (German) Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück's visit (to China).

German industry is also complaining
That may be true. But I certainly would not pit economic interests against human rights. Advocacy of human rights remains a fundamental component of German foreign policy. The question is how we can best do that. Perhaps we as Social Democrats have a more emphatic experience with policies of détente. During the Cold War, we sought to open up channels of communication and build bridges so that exchange was possible between people - despite the systemic conflicts between the states... Complete interview at

Thursday, November 22, 2007

US Republican RUDY GIULIANI – Recipe for the World?

Spiegel - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the Republican frontrunner in the US presidential campaign. Although he is pro-choice and favors stronger gun-control laws, his foreign-policy plans make even current President George W. Bush seem docile by comparison…

Giuliani gives the conservatives what they long for: a decisive leader with the image of a dragon slayer. His views on economic policy and, more importantly, foreign policy are well to the right of those of the current president. Indeed, Giuliani makes George W. Bush, with his cowboy boots and rapidly waning popularity, seem like an amateur… More at SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL

Sunday, November 18, 2007

US Democratic Campaigns of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards

Iowa Caucuses, Advertisements, and Resources

Excerpt - In the final seven weeks of the race, all campaigns are increasing their efforts here, placing new advertisements and investing more resources. To fight the new push by the Clinton campaign, rivals are also planning to spend nearly all their time in Iowa in December, hoping to raise doubts about her candidacy. While the Obama and Edwards campaigns have been gradually building for months toward this moment, the Clinton campaign has bolstered its activity here in recent weeks, hiring 100 new workers to concentrate on a person-to-person drive to explain the quirky process of the caucuses, with a goal of having 50,000 in-home visits by Christmas.

More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, which suggests that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated. ... More at
The New York Times

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Merkel’s Texas Ranch Visit - Diplomatic Efforts with Iran

Tehran's defiance of international demands that it halt its uranium enrichment program was a major topic of discussion. Russia and China - two of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - are blocking the U.N. from moving toward a third set of harsher sanctions against Iran.

Both Bush and Merkel emphasized that diplomatic efforts with Iran have not yet been exhausted. Bush dismissed a question about when patience with Iran would run out.

"What the Iranian regime must understand is that we will continue to work together to solve this problem diplomatically, which means they will continue to be isolated," said Bush… More at
Associated Press

Saturday, November 3, 2007

German Awareness of India & Strategic Economic Cooperation

Economic Growth vs. Social Gaps
India's rapid economic growth has widened the gap between the new middle class and the impoverished bottom class, which makes up a third of the population. A similar development has already occurred in China, but is likely to cause greater tension in a democracy… India and Germany still do not see eye-to-eye on the World Trade talks in Doha, ongoing since 2001, which is a standard problem between highly developed countries and advancing nations such as India, let alone very poor ones… DW-WORLD.DE

Science Express
The Science Express, with its 13 carriages, will be visiting 56 towns, including many isolated places. It is hoped that it will fire the enthusiasm of young people in India for science. And it will be encouraging Indian experts to undertake courses of study in Germany. At present some 4,000 Indians are studying in Germany, while 80,000 of their compatriots are undertaking higher education in the USA...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

"International Stuff" NEWS [Introduction]

Back Room Deal ▪ Crazy Corral ▪ Arson, Foreclosure, Trajectory (California)

Kurt Beck, SPD [Germany] ▪ World's Threat ▪ Scare Force One

Manipulations (Beck) ▪ Russia's Putin ▪ Shere Hite (65) ▪ Break

German Social Democrats [Beck vs. Merkel's Union] ▪ Rainstorm Poem

Merkel's Attitude ▪ Polls ▪ India Visit ▪ Access ▪ Poem

Kurt Beck’s Chancellorship Competition with Angela Merkel

Merkel who was TV interviewed (ZDF), on October 28, feels quite comfortable with the development at the SPD congress. She's got no problem with Beck's thesis and competitive leadership approach.

The polls indicated a large sympathy percentage for Merkel and only little for Beck. But recently, as Beck fought within his party, he acquired a better leadership profile which brought him already a few more sympathy points. Of course, he's got to convince a broad mass of regular and potential SPD voters that his 'social-oriented' programs are better and, moreover, affordable - in view of Germany's hard globalization challenges.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

"International Stuff" NEWS [Introduction]

Connections ▪ Emerging Leadership ▪ Reforms & Conflicts ▪ Venice Blog

Poland's Winner DONALD TUSK ▪ EU Issues ▪ Arlington's Eateries

Honesty Costs (Germany) ▪ Diwanerias ▪ California Fires ▪ Thoughts

Honesty vs. Business ▪ Burmese Junta ▪ Ballston Neighborhood

Business Suffering From “Honesty” – The “Merkel Cost”

Excerpts - German Chancellor Angela Merkel prides herself on being honest with - and critical of - world leaders. But within her government, dissatisfaction is growing, and German trade may be suffering…

Merkel feels that there is no evidence that an offensive human rights policy jeopardizes investments or lessens political influence. She believes that only those who express their opinions openly are treated with respect.

Others, though, aren't so sure. Whereas Merkel is inclined to ignore the aggressive posturing her foreign policy generates, others see warning signals that need to be taken seriously. BASF Chairman Jürgen Hambrecht criticized the reception of the Dalai Lama as "tactless" and promptly delivered a sweeping attack. "The way we deal with China is absolutely unjustified," he said. His deputy Eggert Voscherau echoed the boss in saying: "We have pushed open the door, but others are going through."… More at Spiegel International

Thursday, October 18, 2007

USA, Russia, and Iran – Avoiding a World War III Prospect

Bush’s Warning (Oct 17)

President George W. Bush warned Iran must be barred from nuclear weapons to avoid the prospect of "World War III," and dismissed suggestions of a US-Russia rift on the crisis.

Bush intervened hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin made a new proposal to end the nuclear crisis as he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for landmark talks in Tehran… More at
AFP hosted by Google

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Paris Fashion Week in Wall Street Journal’s “WSJ Blog”

A series of inspiring articles and fashion photos on the Paris Runway Spring 2008 were mentioned in the Designer Fashion blog of the Haplifnet as well as in the multicultural blog International Stuff, jointly with e-glob, Washington (DC), titled ‘Paris Fashion’ and ‘Week Dollars vs. Fashion Shows’.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Haplif & Haplifnet legally approved by German Press Association

A comprehensive documentation of Haplif & Haplifnet publications on political and multicultural issues, implying a promotable US-EU community, was thoroughly reviewed and, as a result, legally approved by DPV Deutscher Presse Verband (German Press Association), Hamburg, on October 5, 2007.

It comprised in particular: The GLOBAL HAPLIFNET in context with the multicultural blogs INTERNATIONAL STUFF (soc.culture.europe, s.c.usa, s.c.japan, s.c.australia), jointly with e-glob, Washington (DC), the Haplifnet
Governance, Designer Fashion, and Deutsch (German) as well as Haplif Governance Highlights (future-oriented), Haplif Highlights & “FK”-Themen at the publisher’s Navigation Center, “Globalisierungsoptimierung” at the FOCUS Politikforum, and several “EU-Reformprogress” series at the SPIEGEL ONLINE FORUM (“Suche alle Beiträge von Frank Kalder” to be clicked).

Monday, October 1, 2007

European Executive Education [ESMT/USW] in Germany

The USW NETZWERK 2008 program (52 pages) is available in German language.

USW Network (formerly Universitätsseminar der Wirtschaft) is part of the private leadership college European School of Management and Technology (ESMT).
USW executive seminars are held on Schloss Gracht, a water castle near Cologne.

Mission of ESMT

▪ We develop entrepreneurial and responsible leaders who are globally minded and respect the individual.

▪ Based on European values and the potential of technology, we develop and impart new knowledge to foster sustainable economic growth.

Fortunately, as an ESMT/USW alumnus, I'm pleased to highly recommend participating in those seminars.

Among the 24 founders and sponsors (
pdf page 1 of the 2008 program) you’ll find the McKinsey & Company, Inc. as well as the Boston Consulting Group (Deutschland) GmbH (BCG) with its traditionally close relationship to the world’s foremost executive education at Boston’s Harvard UniversityMore at the websites of ESMT and USW Netzwerk

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Merkel Lobbied for UN Security Council Seat [New York]

Excerpt - German Chancellor Angela Merkel used a speech before the United Nations General Assembly to bring up concerns about Iran and to push forward Germany's bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council.

Countries have talked about reforming the UN's most important body for more than 24 years. Currently, only the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China have had permanent seats on the UN Security Council and the power to veto all resolutions.

Germany's most recent effort to get a permanent seat along with Brazil, India and Japan collapsed two years ago. Merkel said the time had come for action. … More at Deutsche Welle

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

Referring to the introduction, here’s a further update.


Interest Rates ▪ Saga ▪ Hockey ▪ Maine Lobsters ▪ Tri Corner Hats

Fashion Capital London ▪ Globalization ▪ Hollywood & "Wiesn" News

Hollywood Diet ▪ Mighty Heart ▪ Munich's Wiesn ▪ Fast Lane Life

NoHo (NYC) ▪ East Village ▪ Germans ▪ Manhattan's Yorkville

China’s Protest against Merkel’s Dalai Lama Meeting

The first German chancellor to receive Tibet's exiled spiritual leader

Excerpt (mod.) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to hold a historic meeting with the Dalai Lama today in Berlin despite strong protest from China, which has cancelled talks with German officials.

The German justice ministry said Chinese officials have called off a meeting with German counterparts on patent right protection that was scheduled to take place in Munich for "technical reasons". More at AFP News

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nuclear Bombs in Germany? No, Thanks!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a ‘surpise offer’ to Angela Merkel and Frank-Walter Steinmeier during last week's informal meeting in Meseberg palace...

“Both the chancellor and her foreign minister were speechless. The idea of possessing nuclear weapons is taboo in Germany.” …

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

Referring to the introduction, here’s a further update.


Omnibus ▪ Media Debate ▪ I'm Not There (Movie) ▪ Terror Scene

Climate Breakthrough ▪ General Petraeus ▪ Transatlantic Community

Iraq's Security Improvement ▪ Alaska Trip ▪ MTV Awards (Las Vegas)

Troop Reduction (Iraq) ▪ New York's 9/11 ▪ Cello Throwing

Carmel (California) ▪ Bernanke in Germany ▪ Czar-like Power Cult

German Climate Initiatives - Car Makers Selling Emotions

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes the climate protection a cornerstone of her policies, Dieter Zetsche (54), CEO of Daimler, applauds her:

“She also seeks dialogue with the industry. In essence, it is in everyone's interest, just as it is everyone's responsibility, to reduce emissions of CO2 and other gases, because there is clear evidence that there is a relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. But the important thing is to achieve the greatest possible effect with as little effort as possible. Transportation must make a contribution here. But I would emphasize that it is one of many contributions…”
Spiegel Interview

Reinforcing a Czar-like Power Cult by Putin

Editorial Excerpt - Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has a propensity for springing surprises. His latest was the brusque removal yesterday of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and his replacement by the hitherto obscure financial regulator Viktor Zubkov. Russians properly assume that the move is part of Putin's plan for selecting his own successor, someone who can be rubber-stamped in presidential elections next March and counted on to preserve the current political system.

But Putin's shuffling of premiers also reinforces a czar-like cult of power…
The Boston Globe

Friday, September 7, 2007

Crowd Mourned Luciano Pavarotti (†71) in Modena, Italy

Excerpts - Admirers massed by the hundreds in Modena's main piazza Thursday night to pay their final respects to Luciano Pavarotti, the tenor cherished by many as "the last, great voice" of Italian opera… In his heyday, Pavarotti was known as "the King of the High C's" for his ease at hitting the top notes… While opera lovers treasure recordings with soprano Joan Sutherland, Pavarotti slipped into the CD collections of the hipper set mixing notes with Elton John, the Spice Girls, Cheryl Crow and Liza Minnelli, among others…He was the best-selling classical artist, with more than 100 million records sold since the 1960s, and he had the first classical album to reach No. 1 on the pop charts… AP reports from Modena & Milan

Monday, September 3, 2007

Climate Protection Initiative - Kyoto & Bali

- Globalisierungsoptimierung -

It’s meanwhile proposed (by Germany’s Merkel and followed up by Japan’s Abe) that the CO2 measurements should be scaled on a ‘per capita’ basis. Each human individual on earth may be granted the same amount of such emission... more at the German FOCUS Forum

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Heartfelt Tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales

Prince Harry said: “To lose a parent so suddenly at such a young age - as others have experienced - is indescribably shocking and sad. It was an event which changed our lives forever, as it must have done for everyone who lost someone that night. But what is far more important to us now, and into the future, is that we remember our mother as she would have wished to be remembered - as she was: fun-loving, generous, down-to-earth, entirely genuine…”

Excerpt - The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the late Princess’s family, the Spencers, joined 500 guests invited by William and Harry at the Guard’s Chapel in West London to mourn and celebrate the life of their mother, who died in a car crash in Paris early in the morning of August 31, 1997... Times UK (with guest list)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Google’s YouTube – Incitement via Hatred Videos?

e-glob, Washington (DC) - That's sort of an interesting debate here in the US. Even the American Civil Liberties Union has gone to court to preserve hate speech, on the grounds that even that is protected by the constitution.

The legal theory is that: You can hate whoever you want. As long as you don't commit a crime against them (murder or other violence) in the name of the hate, or at civil law, don't discriminate against them on the basis of a protected class (race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc). - That's the theory anyway but it doesn't always work out, and we argue in court about it.

In the meantime, it's also interesting as a free speech issue, because of its historical context. I may not want my kids to see it or be indoctrinated into it, but I do want them to be able to do a book report on the issue that opposes it. So how can they critically evaluate such things if they can't be exposed to them. It's a fascinating legal discussion with many sides to the so called coin of Janus.

More information (click) on the pertinent German situation...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Ritz Carlton" Opened Flamboyantly in Moscow

The German general manger Oliver Eller (40) (»»FOCUS TV video) was responsible during the three years of construction (350 million $ investment). Owners are two young billionaires from Kazakhstan and Turkey. It’s the highest building in Moscow. From most of the suites the Kremlin can be viewed as well as from the roof top under a glass cupola which is extremely suited for parties of Russia’s and the world’s (richest) elite. ...more at International Stuff in context with Russia’s Reawakening [credits to e-glob, Washington (DC), et al.]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

House of World Cultures (*50) Reopened in Berlin

New York Meets Berlin ~ Trans-Atlantic Symbol

The House of World Cultures, a gift from the US government to Berlin, is turning 50.

Newly renovated, it is celebrating its re-opening and the anniversary with a major exhibition dedicated to New York - even though trans-Atlantic relations are not what they were in 1957… more at

Inside the Pregnant Oyster:
Photo Gallery

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chinese Tourists Discover Europe – in 14 days

Excerpts - Their goal is to absorb as much as possible, as quickly as possible, about these peculiar Europeans. There is one thing, above all, that the members of Operation "Flying Dragon" want to take home from their journey - the ability to enjoy life. They've already mastered the art of making money, but spending it is a different talent altogether...

Photographic documentation is almost as important on this expedition as collecting brand-name consumer products, the group's show-and-tell exhibits for the folks back home. When their flight lands early in the morning at Frankfurt Airport, the Chinese quickly converge on the one souvenir shop open at this early hour. They are interested in anything people at home see as quality German craftsmanship, especially knives and scissors from Solingen... more at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Widespread Mortgage Problems

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet Watching Financial Markets

In response to a squeeze on liquidity resulting from deteriorating conditions in credit markets, the ECB injected a record 95 billion € into the eurozone money markets on August 9, followed by another 61 bln €, the next day. »»

Wall Street is beside itself because of concerns over whether subprime mortgage-related losses are causing banks and other lenders to tighten up credit and whether the market for mortgage-backed securities has dried up. The uncertainty comes in part from the fact that no one really knows yet just how widespread mortgage problems are, and therefore how long it will take for credit market conditions to ease. »»

Monday, August 6, 2007

Arctic Resources - Russian Flag Stunt and Canadian Claims

e-glob, Washington (DC) - "A unilateral annexation of the area by Russia is impossible," said Viktor Posyolov of the Russian Institute of Ocean Geology, which has led the Arctic exploration. "We will strictly abide by the UN convention."

Canada - ... There was no dissembling in Mr Harper's speech. "The ongoing discovery of the north's resource riches, coupled with the potential impact of climate change has made the region a growing area of interest and concern," he said.

As the statement implies, two areas of international competition lie behind the Canadian leader's actions. The first is that the Arctic region is rich in natural resources. It is thought to hold up to a quarter of the world's undiscovered reserves of oil and gas, which as the established fields in the Middle East and elsewhere run dry will become increasingly valuable and sought after. There are also known to be significant deposits of diamonds, silver, copper, zinc and potentially uranium, not to mention fish stocks. ▪ Complete articles via International Stuff (see credits)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

Referring to the introduction, here’s a further update.


Asia's Future ▪ Gordon Brown ▪ Gulf States ▪ Publishing

Condo ▪ Assignment ▪ Enlightening ▪ Carl Stark (WCPS)

Ballston Common Mall ▪ Frank Zappa ▪ Seersucker (Cotton Fabric)

Peace Talks (C. Rice) ▪ US Bridges ▪ Netrebko & Co ▪ Dixie Chicks

Middle East ▪ Cybercrime ▪ Heatwaves ▪ Flag Stunt ▪ Canadian Claims

Middle East Peace Can’t Bank On Rice

Excerpt - As a well-respected academic and diplomat Rice is in a precarious position. She is President George W Bush's top gun in the Middle East, she calls the shots and she supplies all the back-up. What she says normally goes and it's fair to say that she's the one person who can make the two leaders listen to sense. They wouldn't even be thinking of meeting unless Rice had paid a visit - to remind Olmert that Bush wanted to see some progress and to give Abbas a cheque for $10 million with the promise of more to come, the money to be used to reform the security services… Full article at sundayherald by Trevor Royle, Diplomatic Editor

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ordinary Chinese People Coping With Tumultuous Change

e-glob, Washington (DC) - I watched a great interview with Robert Gifford who wrote "China Road".

»National Public Radio China correspondent Gifford journeyed for six weeks on China's Mother Road, Route 312, from its beginning in Shanghai for nearly 3,000 miles to a tiny town in what used to be known as Turkistan. The route picks up the old Silk Road, which runs through the Gobi Desert to Central Asia to Persia and on to Europe. Along the way, Gifford meets entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on China's growing economy, citizens angry and frustrated with government corruption, older people alarmed at changes in Chinese culture and morality, and young people uncertain and excited about the future. Gifford profiles ordinary Chinese people coping with tumultuous change as development and commerce shrink a vast geography, bringing teeming cities and tiny towns into closer commercial and cultural proximity; the lure of wealth is changing the Chinese character and sense of shared experience, even if it was common poverty. Gifford notes an aggressive sense of competition in the man-eat-man atmosphere of a nation that is likely to be the next global superpower.« Vanessa Bush
more contextually

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fundamental Divide in the US Democratic Race

Yesterday’s CNN/YouTube debate in Charleston, S.C., was the best of the campaign season, and not least because it offered a preview of a brewing confrontation between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton over the fundamental divide in the Democratic race.

That fault line is Clinton's experience versus Obama's freshness. More Democrats prefer a change-oriented candidate, but the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that Clinton's strength and experience continue to trump what Obama has most to offer…

Other candidates - John Edwards being the most likely - will be trying to elbow their way into the Clinton-Obama conflict… more at

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Biopics vs. Movies as Art or Gospel

"Stauffenberg Project" Controversy

e-glob, Washington (DC) - I always think it's interesting when they say that scripts are researched meticulously, especially for so called biopics that are inevitably fiction because they make composites of people to save time in storytelling and do other tricks to make the story flow without being religiously factual.

In the end, movies are art, and they are meant to provoke thought and sometimes take liberties. The danger of course is once you do that in a biopic, Americans take the story as gospel rather than art… Enjoy
reading more at ‘Cruise Projects’

Monday, July 16, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

Referring to the introduction, here’s a further update.


US Viewers (Live Earth) • Iraq Debate • Former First Lady †

Bravo Forecast (Live Earth) • Montana Sky • Berlin Fashion Week

US Lifetime Channel • Berlin Fashion Week • Stauffenberg Movie

Bastille Day Celebration in Paris • Cruise Projects • Bill Nighy

Bastille Day Celebration on July 14 in Paris & Tokio Hotel

French President Nicolas Sarkozy led, two days ago, a parade of military troops from 27 European Union nations down the Champs-Elysées in Paris; the first time that armed forces from other EU countries participated in a traditional French military parade on the July 14 national holiday. Sarkozy has repeatedly called for creation of common European defense… More at Voice of America.

The German pop-rock band TOKIO HOTEL performed very successfully ‘sous la tour Eiffel’... Enjoy viewing 10
SPIEGEL photos!