Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Video Report - Putin: China and Russia defend historic truth

Video Report - Assad legitimate president of Syria: Lavrov

Video - President Obama Speaks at Seward Harbor in Alaska

Video - Hillary Clinton Speech at the Democratic National Committee Summer Meeting ( Sep 1, 2015 )

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto expresses grief on sad demise of seasoned Lawyer, Politician and constitutional expert Adbul Hafeez Pirzada




Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of the seasoned  Lawyer, Politician and constitutional expert Adbul Hafeez Pirzada. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada breathed his last in London where he was under medical treatment for some time. Hafeez Pirzada also served as federal law minister and a member of a committee that drafted 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.
PPP Chairman paid rich tributes to Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and condoled his death. He prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and fortitude to his family members to bear this loss for equanimity.
https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BF-chairman-ppp-bilawal-bhutto-zardari-expresses-grief-on-sad-demise-of-seasoned-lawyer-politician-and-constitutional-expert-adbul-hafeez/

Hillary Clinton Proposes $10 Billion Plan to Combat Drug Epidemic

Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday released plans for a $10 billion initiative to combat the escalating drug epidemic that she says has swept through rural America and has emerged as a regular concern among voters she has met in the early nominating states.
“In state after state, this issue came up again and again — from so many people, from all walks of life, in small towns and big cities,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in an op-ed in The New Hampshire Union Leader.
Her plan to address the nearly 23 million Americans with substance abuse problems includes helping state and local governments put in place school and community-based programs to combat drug use, expanding mental health coverage to provide long-term support and making sure more emergency medical workers carry naloxone, which can prevent death from drug overdoses.
The plan includes spending $7.5 billion, partly paid for by reforming the criminal justice system, over 10 years to support federal-state partnerships to help prevent and treat drug addiction. States can receive $4 of federal support for every $1 they commit to prevention, treatment and recovery programs.
The rising tide of drug use, particularly the spread of heroin in rural America, had not been an issue Mrs. Clinton initially anticipated making a priority in her presidential campaign.
After serving four years as secretary of state, she seemed struck by how heroin epidemic had affected families, as voters told her about their ordeals during an early campaign stop in New Hampshire. “We’re not just ‘discovering’ the problem,” she wrote in the op-ed. “But we should be saying enough is enough.”
The aggressive stance on combating drug addiction comes as Mrs. Clinton has also called for criminal justice reform and rethinking long prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.
“For those who commit low-level, nonviolent drug offenses, I will reorient our federal criminal justice resources away from more incarceration and toward treatment and rehabilitation,” she said.

Video - President Obama Holds a Roundtable with Alaska Native Leaders ( Sep 1, 2015 )

Senator Coons (D-DE) Supports Iran Nuclear Deal

U.S. - A Look at Where Senate Democrats Stand on the Iran Deal

Congress will vote this month on a resolution to disapprove of the White House-backed nuclear deal struck with Iran by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The deal aims to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.
Republicans who control both chambers of Congress are unanimously opposed to the deal. They need a majority in the House and 60 of 100 votes in the Senate to pass the disapproval resolution.
If it does pass, President Barack Obama has pledged to veto it. At that point, opponents would need to muster two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate to override Obama's veto.
In the Senate, 34 senators — the number required to sustain the president's veto — have announced they support the deal. Forty-one votes would be required to filibuster the disapproval resolution in the first place and prevent it from passing.
Here's a breakdown of where the 46 members of the Democratic caucus stand:
———
SUPPORT - 34
Tammy Baldwin
Barbara Boxer
Sherrod Brown
Tom Carper
Bob Casey
Chris Coons
Joe Donnelly
Dick Durbin
Dianne Feinstein
Al Franken
Kirsten Gillibrand
Martin Heinrich
Mazie Hirono
Tim Kaine
Angus King
Amy Klobuchar
Ed Markey
Claire McCaskill
Jeff Merkley
Barbara Mikulski
Chris Murphy
Patty Murray
Bill Nelson
Jack Reed
Harry Reid
Bernie Sanders
Brian Schatz
Jeanne Shaheen
Debbie Stabenow
Jon Tester
Tom Udall
Elizabeth Warren
Sheldon Whitehouse
OPPOSED - 2
Robert Menendez
UNDECLARED - 10
Michael Bennet
Richard Blumenthal
Cory Booker
Maria Cantwell
Ben Cardin
Heidi Heitkamp
Joe Manchin
Gary Peters
Ron Wyden

Obama Clinches Vote to Secure Iran Nuclear Deal

By 


Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland on Wednesday came out in support of President Obama’s Iran nuclear accord, the 34th Democrat in favor. Her decision gives Mr. Obama the votes needed to assure the deal will survive a congressional challenge.
“Some have suggested we reject this deal and impose unilateral sanctions to force Iran back to the table. But maintaining or stepping up sanctions will only work if the sanction coalition holds together,” Ms. Mikulski, the longest serving female senator in history, said in a statement.
“It’s unclear if the European Union, Russia, China, India and others would continue sanctions if Congress rejects this deal. At best, sanctions would be porous, or limited to unilateral sanctions by the U.S.”
Ms. Mikulski’s decision came a day after Senators Chris Coons of Delaware and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania also announced they would support the deal. With 34 senators favoring the accord between Iran and six world powers limiting the country’s nuclear program, opponents may still be able to pass a resolution disapproving the deal later this month, but they do not have the votes to override Mr. Obama’s promised veto.
And with momentum on their side, the White House and Senate Democrats next week hope to find seven more votes to filibuster the Republican resolution of disapproval. That would ensure the resolution would never leave the Senate, and Mr. Obama would not be forced to use a veto.
Despite the continuing rancor on Capitol Hill, there was also growing recognition, even among some accord opponents, that the other nations — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, and especially Iran — would be unwilling to renegotiate the agreement even if Congress formally rejected it.
In most cases, support for the deal has not been enthusiastic, as lawmakers have confronted one of the most divisive policy debates of modern times, with the security of Israel and the stability of the Middle East potentially at stake. But enough Democrats have come to the conclusion that killing the accord would be far worse than approving it.
International sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy and helped bring Tehran to the negotiating table are unlikely to be reassembled now that the United States’ partners have agreed to begin lifting them. And most Democrats have concluded that if Congress rejected the deal, Iran would be able to move more quickly toward a nuclear weapon.

Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha Aaj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai..

Pakistan - PM Nawaz attacked PPP, Zardari only gave response in defence: Khurshid

The former president further said that despite emergence of a video, in which Punjab Minister Rana Mashhood is seen receiving money on behalf of Mian brothers, no arrests have been made as yet.
According to details, Prime minister has stopped PML-N leaders from reacting to Asif Zardari statement to avoid prolonging the misunderstanding between political parties. He warned that the politics of revenge be immediately stopped otherwise it will produce disastrous consequences. While referring the recent inquires, and arrests of party leaders by the Federal agencies he said that institutions should operate within their defined limits.
To a query, he said when PPP talk about war with the opponents, it doesn’t mean it would use guns but rather the party would take a course of law.
“If they want to conduct fair accountability, they should first take action against a federal minister who confessed before a magistrate his involvement in money laundering for the Sharif-brothers”. He said, the steps being taken by the government clearly indicate that they are dividing the nation in an attempt to save their natural allies Taliban and the terrorists and weaken the war against terror.
Nasir said that the menace of countrywide corruption was not the creation of PPP, but it had been prevailing for the last two decades.
In reply to a question, he said that the PPP co-chairman was a seasoned politician and the government should listen to him patiently.
“Mian Nawaz Sharif is reapting the politics of 1990’s”.
He said that today Nawaz Sharif is the Prime Minister of the country and Mian Shahbaz Sharif is the Chief Minister of Punjab only because of the Peoples Party.
“We are not among those who asked for pardon and escaped to Jeddah”, he pointed out. Only then we will know how clean the followers of the N-league are. “We salute our jawans(brave soldiers) who have given ultimate sacrifice in this war”, he added.
“Are not those who killed 14 people, including women in the Model Town tragedy, terrorists?” He had said that he knew how many cases were in the courts and how many generals are accomplices.
“The prime minister has also asked for a report on Asif Zardari’s statement”, stated Rashid.
The party’s senior vice president Sherry Rehman said the PPP has always been on the front-line in the war against terror. The ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation would not have been started without the support of PPP, he said.
PPP leader said he had served five years in jail and that was why he worked against political victimisation during his tenure.
It is pertinent to mention here that Muttahida Qaumi Movement has also strongly protested against what it calls extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances and arrests of its workers under the garb of the Karachi operation.
Prime Minister has further advised all the PML-N leaders and ministers to maintain the policy of reconciliation with all the parties. But the government would have to address the concerns of Zardari, whose party controls the provincial government of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.
http://www.pressexaminer.com/pm-nawaz-attacked-ppp-zardari-only-gave-response-in-defence-khurshid/65875

Pashto Music - Khyal Muhammad - Bya Kaddee Bareege

Pakistan drug crisis grows, with little funding for treatment

By Izhar Ullah 

 Pakistan faces a growing crisis of serious drug addiction but allocates only a fraction of the money needed to combat the problem, according to the country's Anti-Narcotics Force, the federal office tasked with combating narcotics smuggling and use.
Army Gen. Khawar Hanif, the ANF's director general, told the Senate Interior and Narcotics Control Committee in July that the federal government spends as little as 4 cents per addict each year. That amounts to $265,000 for 8.9 million addicts.
Hanif said there was no real policy for maintaining rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and alcoholics across the country.
Drug abuse is rampant in Pakistan, especially in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported in "Drug use in Pakistan 2013" that 10.9 percent of the province's population between the ages of 15 and 64 used an illicit substance in 2013.
The report, released last year, said cannabis, opioid and tranquilizer use were the highest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with prevalence rates of 4.7 percent, 5.8 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Opiates are used by 1.4 percent of the population, with 140,000 people using heroin and 84,000 people using opium.
Azazudin, who only goes by one name and is manager of monitoring and evaluation at Dost Foundation – a Peshawar organization that works with groups including drug addicts and those with HIV/AIDS – said there are not enough facilities to treat those most at risk.
"Lack of proper treatment facilities for drug addicts in the province means the lives of about 1.6 million drug addicts are at risk," he told News Lens Pakistan.
The Dost Foundation is the only organization with a well-equipped center providing rehabilitation services to drug addicts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has treated 26,000 to 27,000 people since its start in 1992.
At one point, the foundation had 16 regional rehab centers, but they were shut down due to a lack of funds. Its one remaining center in Peshawar has a capacity of 350 patients.
Adult patients take 45 to 75 days for treatment, while children 8 to 18 years old take up to three months. They are treated for addictions to everything from hashish to opium and heroin and include intravenous drug users.
Azazudin told News Lens Pakistan that child addicts are mostly street children. After completing the treatment, the foundation tries to contact the parents in hopes they will take the children home so they do not become addicted again.
The foundation, funded mostly by donors, has 50 children and 200 adult drug addicts in treatment, of whom 150 adults and 15 children are also being treated for HIV/AIDS.
"Most of the drug users in our center are HIV-positive. They include Afghan refugees, migrants and Pakistanis deported back from other countries," with the Pakistanis sent back because they were HIV-positive, Azazudin told News Lens.
According to the UNODC report, Pakistan consumes 44 tons of heroin a year. About 110 tons of heroin and morphine are smuggled through Pakistan to international markets from Afghanistan annually.
The report said 74 percent of the world's opium is produced in Afghanistan, and 40 percent of this is supplied to the rest of the world through Pakistan. Another 34 percent goes through Iran, and the rest is smuggled through Russia and other Central Asian countries. Experts believe it is one of the main reasons that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a border province like Balochistan – which also has a high drug prevalence and addiction rate -- accounts for a high number of drug abusers.
Shahram Tarakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's health minister, told News Lens Pakistan that drug abuse is of grave concern and should be addressed on a priority basis not only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but in the entire country.
"If drug abuse is not prevented at this stage, it will engulf the whole society," Tarakai said.
The provincial government has pledged to support the Dost Foundation to combat drug abuse. It plans to initiate a drug rehabilitation program in collaboration with the Dost foundation and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Social Welfare Department.
Muhammad Ali Babakhel, a Peshawar police official, said the ANF was doing all it could to control drug smuggling and availability. He said it was necessary to increase the public's cooperation with police to combat drug addiction.
"I think it is primarily an issue of demand and supply [of drugs], lack of parental and teacher control, access to Internet and depression in society," Babakhel said. "I think the first approach toward controlling drug abuse should be emphasis on prevention and education."

Afghan Provincial Officials Back Public Lashing

Its OK to rape a 10 yr old boy,70 yr old man marries a 13 yr old girl but a couple punished.
An Afghan man and woman both endured 100 lashes in the western province of Ghor after being found guilty of adultery. It was the first time since the end of Taliban rule that such a sentence was supported by provincial authorities.

Pakistan - ‘ISI sheltered Mullah Omar’

Top Taliban leader Mullah Omar was sheltered by Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ISI after the outfit’s leadership fled from Afghanistan in 2001, according to an email received by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her tenure.
Mullah Omar is reported to have died at a hospital in Karachi two years ago. However, till date the Pakistani authorities have strongly refuted reports of direct links between ISI and Mullah Omar.
The U.S. too has insisted that it has no such evidence in this regard. However, an email written to Clinton on August 25, 2010 indicates otherwise.
“I’m sure you know the facts in this well-informed piece, how Mullah Omar was saved by ISI, for example, but the idea of Afghanistan as an aspect of lndo-Pak war is the best and overarching strategic concept,” wrote one Sid to Clinton. The full name and email of the author has been redacted.
The mail is among the tranche of emails from Clinton’s private server which were released by the State Department. Roughly 7,121 pages of Clinton’s emails were made public late Monday night, including 125 emails that were censored prior to their release because they contain information now deemed classified. The vast majority concerned mundane matters of daily life at any workplace- phone messages, relays of schedules and forwards of news articles.
But in a few of the emails, Clinton and her aides noted the constraints of discussing sensitive subjects when working outside of the government’s secure messaging systems and the need to protect such information.
Mullah Mohammed Omar was kept in an ISI safehouse in Quetta, while his militia was lodged in Pashtunabad. 
The comment in email is on top of an article The military and the mullah written by William Dalrymple in New Statesman, which said that the Pakistani state has a long history of nurturing jihadis as a means of dominating Afghanistan and undermining India.
“It is proving a fatal alliance,” the article said.
According to the article, ISI gave refuge to the leadership of the Taliban after it fled from Afghanistan in 2001. “Mullah Mohammed Omar was kept in an ISI safehouse in Quetta; his militia was lodged in the sprawling suburb of Pashtunabad,” it said.
“There, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar presided over the Taliban military committee and war chest.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-lslami, was lured back from exile in Iran and allowed to operate freely outside Peshawar, while Jalaluddin Haqqani, one of the most violent Taliban commanders, was given sanctuary in North Waziristan.
“Other groups were dispatched to safehouses in Balochistan,” the article said.
And the article says by 2004, the U.S. had filmed Pakistani army trucks delivering Taliban fighters at the Afghan border and recovering them a few days later; wireless monitoring at the US base at Bagram picked up Taliban commanders arranging with Pakistani army officers at the border for safe passage as they came in and out of Afghanistan.
“Western intelligence agencies concluded that the ISI was running a full training programme for the Afghan Taliban, turning a blind eye as they raised funds in the Gulf and allowing them to import materiel, mainly via Dubai.
“By 2005 the Taliban, with covert Pakistani support, were launching a full-scale assault on NATO troops in Afghanistan and being given covering fire as they returned to their bases in Pakistan,” the report said.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/isi-sheltered-mullah-omar/article7604504.ece?ref=topnavwidget&utm_source=topnavdd&utm_medium=topnavdropdownwidget&utm_campaign=topnavdropdown

#Balochistan - Dasht: People are Suffering due to Water Scarcity

Sami Parvez
Turbat – In Dasht, people are suffering from scarcity of water, learnt Balochistan Point.
Dasht is the tehsil of District Kech which is located 40 Km from Turbat city.
People of Dash are facing water scarcity due to fewer rainfalls this year. Unavailability of water has created a drought like situation in Dasht.

We are unable to cultivate corps due to shortage of water and therefore our lives are in jeopardy – Farmers

“Water scarcity has badly affected farming in Dasht which is the primary source of livelihood for the people,” said Dekan Karim Baksh, a farmer, while talking to Balochistan Point.
“We are unable to cultivate corps due to shortage of water and therefore our lives are in jeopardy,” Dekan Humetan, another farmer, told Balochistan Point.
From the platform of Balochistan Point, people of Dasht appeal to Balochistan Government to approve water supply schemes for the tehsil on emergency basis.

Pakistan - Salaries and perks of federal ministers

An office memorandum issued by the Cabinet Division on 18th August 2015 raised salaries of members of the federal cabinet (ministers and ministers of state) by a whopping 27 percent - from 76,032 rupees to 99,808 rupees per month for a minister and from 70,331 rupees to 92,324 rupees per month for ministers of state. In addition, the ad hoc allowance at the rate of 7.5 percent of the salary would be extended to cabinet members from 1st July 2015 implying that a federal minister would receive an additional 7,486 rupees per month while a minister of state would receive an extra 6,924 rupees per month. An ad hoc relief allowance paid to federal ministers and ministers of state in 2014 would be frozen at the level of its admissibility on 30th June 2015, the office memorandum states. This memorandum has been in pursuance of a rule that links the salaries of cabinet members with that of senior bureaucrats. Since the bureaucrats have received a raise, therefore, so will the ministers. 

Although, this raise is legally valid but considering the state of affairs within the republic, this is a most unfair raise and Business Recorder considers all the definitions of unfair being relevant in this case including inequitable, dishonourable and prejudiced, that has baffled the general public on two counts. First and foremost, it is grossly unfair to allow the beneficiary (in this case the cabinet members) to decide in their own cause; or in other words there is no moral justification for allowing the participants of a forum to take a decision to their own benefit. This is not the first time that beneficiaries have decided in their own cause at the expense of the exchequer. This has happened during the tenure of previous governments and as stated earlier the law as it stands allows it. However, times have changed and so should our ways of governance. Thus for the Cabinet Division to issue a notification in this regard must be deemed to be highly inappropriate and one would hope that the Prime Minister takes cognisance of this decision and reverses it forthwith and in future any raise in the salaries of ministers be put up in parliament and debated. 

And secondly, there is a need to monetize the perks and privileges of the federal ministers and ministers of state and make the data public for the sake of transparency. There is no doubt that the ministers have the privilege of being housed in the Minister's Enclave - a pricey area - and privileges include a car, driver, cook and other household staff. These privileges and perks need to be monetized forthwith and their total cost to the country must be revealed - a cost which is, of course, paid for by the taxpayers. 

What is baffling is that this increase in salaries has been approved in spite of the constant refrain of the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that the country is in the throes of severe financial constraints. This has compromised his disbursements for development projects including power sector projects; and his claim that responsibility for this rests with powerful pressure groups who effectively resist efforts to enhance documentation of the economy. Dar is also on record as having stated that the Sharif administration is proactively cutting down on unnecessary expenditure - a claim that would be difficult to substantiate given the salary raise of the federal cabinet. While the salary increase in itself is an infinitesimal amount of the federal budget yet a rise in salaries of the cabinet that is representative of mostly wealthy individuals appears to be a decision singularly lacking in good sense. 

To conclude, the cabinet needs to revisit this decision on an immediate basis and either reverse it or take the proposal to parliament. 

Pakistan - PMLN should impose IMF policies in Punjab: PPP

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNAS Shagufta Jumani, Shamsun Nisa Memon and Musarrat Rafique Maheesar while rejecting the recent decrease in POL prices termed it as unrealistic and a deception as compared to decline in POL prices in international market. The PMLN federal government has not passed adequate relief to the masses but has often revised taxes and common men’s commodities’ price with an upper limit through mini budgets silently, due to which the masses are enforced either to stay hungry or commit suicide.
They said the PMLN federal government is bent upon passing Pakistan into control of the IMF as its colony. The policies of the PMLN federal government are totally anti-masses and the overall scenario of bad governance might bring general elections quite earlier than the scheduled time and then the masses would avenge the PMLN for pushing them into enforced slavery to the IMF and then the PPP would be beside the masses.
In a statement issued here from PPP Media cell sindh Tuesday, they said the PMLN federal government has last month increased the electricity tariff for the residential consumers of Karachi by 30 percent and this increase was made only on dictation of the IMF and the recent minute decrease in POL prices is also on orders of the IMF but still the PMLN federal government is claiming to have served the masses, which is the biggest lie of the time.
They said it is now candid clear that the PMLN federal government wants to make Sindh its colony because the 30 percent increase in electricity tariff is imposed only for the people of Karachi. However, the people of Sindh are politically more mature than people from other parts of the country and would not let the PMLN federal government go without stern accountability.
They said that at one hand, the PMLN federal government has minutely decreased the POL prices but at the other pushed the Oil Tankers Association to go on strike, which created Petrol curfew in Sindh and the so-called relief is thus impeded.
They asked under which law the PMLN federal government has the authority to raise the residential tariff of electricity in Karachi by 30 percent while the other provinces are exempted.
They asked the PMLN federal government whether Sindh and Karachi are occupied and conquered colonies of Punjab that the people of Sindh and Karachi are subjected to invasion by the federal institutions in provincial institutions despite the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment.
They said the government of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has snatched the least morsel from the mouth of the people of Sindh.
They said the PP had only adopted the policy of reconciliation for the sake of democracy but it should never be taken for granted for imposing atrocities on people of Sindh.
They asked the Prime Minister to impose the policies of the IMF only in Punjab.
https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/pmln-should-impose-imf-policies-in-punjab-ppp/

Pakistan - Former President Asif Zardari pays glowing tributes to Hafeez Pirzada

Former President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the death of Abdul Hafeez Pirzada describing the ex-federal Minister in the cabinet of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as an eminent jurist and constitutional lawyer of great acumen.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada died in London on Tuesday.
Paying tributes the former President said that Hafeez Pirzada was one of the most prominent and widely respected architects of the unanimous Constitution of 1973 that has guided the nation’s destiny for the past over four decades. Late Abdul Hafiz has earned a place of pride in the history of constitutional development in Pakistan for which he will always be remembered with respect and admiration, he said.
Later Abdul Hafeez Prizada excelled in everything he did in life whether in politics or in legal profession or in the drafting of the Constitution, the former President said. In the pursuit of his goals Hafeez Pirzada exuded great confidence, unbounded energy and remarkable strength.
May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and grant patience to the members of the bereaved family to bear the loss with fortitude, he prayed.
https://mediacellppp.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/former-president-asif-zardari-pays-glowing-tributes-to-hafeez-pirzada/

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Music Video - t.A.T.u. - All The Things She Said

Forever Captive? Soviet soldiers captured in Afghanistan 30 yrs ago... that never come back

Video Report - Inside Story - Refugees and Europe's dilemma

Video - President Xi meets foreign leaders attending Sept. 3 parade

Video - What’s in store for China’s V-Day anniversary

Putin to make two-day visit to China



During his two-day visit, Putin will hold a number of bilateral meetings with Chinese partners and leaders of other states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will go to China on Wednesday to take part in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two and the allied victory over Japan.
During his two-day visit at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin will hold a number of bilateral meetings with Chinese partners and leaders of other states, the Russian president’s top foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told journalists.
Outlining Putin's planned meetings with foreign leaders during his trip to China, Ushakov said the Russian president would primarily hold talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on September 2.
"They will mainly focus on issues of trade and economic cooperation," Ushakov said.
Putin and Li are expected to exchange views on current international and regional issues and on prospects for deepening cooperation within the United Nations, the Group of 20 leading economies, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and other international organisations, Ushakov said. The two men will also discuss plans to link Beijing's Silk Road East-West trading route and the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, he said.
Putin’s busy schedule also includes meetings with the presidents of Venezuela, Laos and Czech Republic, Nicolas Maduro, Choummaly Sayasone and Milos Zeman, due to take place on September 3.
Putin and his Venezuelan counterpart will discuss practical steps of further cooperation in trade and economy, Ushakov said. "Special attention will be paid to possible joint steps on stabilising prices in the global oil market, particularly in the context of cooperation between Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)," he said.
At talks with the president of Laos, Putin will focus on key aspects of traditionally friendly relations between the two countries and development of strategic partnership in the Asia-Pacific region. Ushakov noted that Russia and Laos were implementing several very promising joint investment projects.
The meeting with Czech President Milos Zeman will focus on cooperation between Moscow and Prague in the spheres of trade and economy, investment, energy and culture.
Ushakov noted that bilateral meetings would kick off after a military parade and an official reception held by Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Putin says dump dollar

Russian President Vladimir Putin has drafted a bill that aims to eliminate the US dollar and the euro from trade between CIS countries.
 This means the creation of a single financial market between Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
“This would help expand the use of national currencies in foreign trade payments and financial services and thus create preconditions for greater liquidity of domestic currency markets”said a statement from Kremlin.
The bill would also help to facilitate trade in the region and help to achieve macro-economic stability.
Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) the countries have also discussed the possibility of switching to national currencies. According to the agreement between Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan, an obligatory transition to settlements in the national currencies (Russian ruble, Belarusian ruble, dram and tenge respectively) must occur in 2025-2030.
Today, some 50 percent of turnover in the EEU is in dollars and euro, which increases the dependence of the union on countries issuing those currencies.
Outside the CIS and EEU, Russia and China have been trying to curtail the dollar’s dominance as well.
In August, China's central bank put the Russian ruble into circulation in Suifenhe City, Heilongjiang Province, launching a pilot two-currency (ruble and yuan) program. The ruble was introduced in place of the US dollar.
In 2014, the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China signed a three-year currency swap agreement, worth 150 billion yuan (around $23.5 billion), thus boosting financial cooperation between the two countries.

China Slams Japan for Protesting UN Secretary-General Visit to WWII Parade

China finds it "irritating" that Japan is complaining about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s scheduled visit to Beijing to watch a military parade marking the anniversary of the end of World War II.

Thousands of Chinese troops and military vehicles will travel through Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war's end. The parade will be overseen by Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with most other Western leaders, has declined to attend.
News that Ban plans on attending the parade prompted Japan's Foreign Ministry to express its "strong displeasure," according to Japanese media reports.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed those remarks.
"At the moment the international community is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the World Anti-Fascist War, Japan's so-called protest or remarks sound very irritating, which is deliberately provocative," she was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"We hope Japan can truly face up to and deeply reflect on its history of militarism with an honest and modest attitude."
Last week, Ban said he was aware of Japan's complaints, but that it was important to recognize China's sacrifices and contributions during the war, Chinese state-run media reported.
Many people in China, as well as in North and South Korea, hold hostility toward Japan over their belief that it has failed to properly atone for wartime atrocities.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye will also attend the Beijing parade, along with a senior North Korean official, Reuters reported.


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150901/1026461844.html#ixzz3kXlkpj8S


China - Invite of Bashir to WWII parade justified

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir embarked on a four-day trip to China on Monday. During his stay, he will also attend commemorative events for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. As Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the conflict in Darfur in 2009, his visit to China has raised eyebrows in the West.

The US expressed concerns on Monday, with State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying, "We oppose invitations, facilitation or support for travel by persons subject to outstanding ICC warrants." He also warned that China should take into account worries of the international community as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. 

Both China and the US are not signatories to the ICC Rome Statute. This means China has no obligations to cooperate with the ICC's indictment.

The causes of the Darfur conflicts were complicated. The decisions made by the ICC were very controversial in Africa. 

Bashir has visited a number of Middle East countries these years and also attended the African Union Summit held in South Africa. He visited China in 2011. As the North African region was a battlefield during WWII, there are no grounds to criticize China's invitation of Bashir for commemorative events for WWII.

The ICC's decisions over some former or current non-Western leaders in recent years are apparently based on a Western mind-set. The US, while supporting ICC principles, has not signed the ICC Rome Statute. 

Washington fears thorny issues once the ICC decisions involve the Americans or its allies. The US supports the ICC to charge its enemies, but avoids its interests being hurt by not signing the Rome Statute.

Sudan is a friendly country to China. China should invite Bashir to come and treat him with hospitality. This is the responsibility of a big power in the current international political context. 

If China dare not make independent judgments and avoids developing ties with a certain country simply because the West doesn't like it and its leaders, China can never establish its own prestige and will fall into being a political vassal of the West.

Controversies around Bashir have been brewing for years and the West has almost got tired of them. There is little room for the West to make a fuss about China's invitation. China can just shrug it off.

It is the Africans that will decide African matters. External factors can generate less impact. Bashir, although indicted by the ICC, has still ruled for years. Washington should respect realities and spend some efforts on exploring a new world instead of insisting it is the center of the world.

Commentary: Debates on V-Day Parade Indicate China's Progress

By Xiaoyuan Ai

China will hold its first military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 3, which has undoubtedly been a hot topic amongst the Chinese social media recently.
Everyone seems to have their own concerns about the parade. Some people wish to take a glimpse of the foreign troops; some want to widen their knowledge of the armaments; others are making efforts to get tickets that could get them into the scene. Still, some are complaining about the inconvenience caused by the recent traffic control and other regulations.
These are all normal reactions in a Chinese society where an important event is approaching. Chinese people have become more willing to express their own feelings, share their personal experiences, and take different perspectives. It is encouraging to see people taking diverse look at the current issues rather than agreeing or disagreeing on something altogether. Such a phenomenon truly indicates China as a more open, tolerant, and advanced society. It is also important for us to think, amongst all the emotions, what core facts of the happenings are and what reflection we could gain from it.
Last week, China’s latest model of military jets performed a display during parade rehearsals in Beijing. Many of those who were able to take photos of the scene and then post online were actually those who got stuck on the road by temporary roadblocks. With the sounds of the rolling tanks rumbling pass, and with all the photos of the heroic soldiers on news reports, one can hardly act indifferently about the significant progress China has made during its past 70 years.
Indeed, China has gone through too many things in the past century, and people view and judge them differently. But when speaking of the end of WWII and the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the majority of Chinese people hold a solidary attitude of pride and excitement. Therefore, on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, is it appropriate to revive the old spirit that once supported us during the anti-war period? Is it meaningful for modern China to commemorate the legacy of the wars and to rethink the development of our country? The answer is YES.
Because of this, it is respectable of people to pay constant attention to the parade, bear some inconveniences in this period of time, and share their true feelings in this. In some way, it is like the annual travel rush during Spring Festival, people have to make all efforts to book a train ticket in the midnight, prepare all kinds of New Year’s gifts for extended families, and change from one vehicle to another just for family reunion. Once all family members are reunited, all exhaustion will be washed away. And same thing applies to this V-Day parade. Compared with some daily inconveniences, the inner fulfillment people will get is far more significant.
Liang Qichao, a famous Chinese scholar and journalist, once compared a young nation to a teenager, who needs not only physical growth but also the development of mind. During the past years, China has grown from a teenager to a young man, who is now facing more challenges and responsibilities. In some sense, the upcoming parade and many other efforts China has made, such as improving the legal system, commemorating the history, as well as highlighting heroes and heroines, are of great significance. More importantly, we also need to build a modern country with strong mobilization ability.
In this way, the heated discussion on the upcoming V-Day parade shows that Chinese people are actively participating in thinking about the development of their country. How can we make September 3 a more meaningful day? How should we maintain memorial constructions and hold commemorative activities? And what can we learn from the war of resistance against aggression? People across the nation have been thinking deeply about these questions. It also indicates that Chinese people are making new progress.

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