The 11th Hour
In The News
Toward a Realistic Peace by Rudy Giuliani Foreign Affairs The next U.S. president will face three key foreign policy challenges: setting a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order, strengthening the international system the terrorists seek to destroy, and extending the system's benefits. With a stronger defense, a determined diplomacy, and greater U.S. economic and cultural influence, the next president can start to build a lasting, realistic peace. ....... We are all members of the 9/11 generation. ........ our old assumptions about conflict between nation-states fell away ....... Much like at the beginning of the Cold War, we are at the dawn of a new era in global affairs, when old ideas have to be rethought and new ideas have to be devised to meet new challenges. ........ an ever-widening arc of security and stability across the globe ..... balancing realism and idealism ..... Idealism should define our ultimate goals; realism must help us recognize the road we must travel to achieve them. ...... Terrorists' War on Us ..... the complex war of ideas and ideals ..... Our economy is the strongest in the developed world. Our political system is far more stable than those of the world's rising economic giants. And the United States is the world's premier magnet for global talent and capital. ....... tempering our expectations of what American foreign policy can achieve ...... They follow a violent ideology: radical Islamic fascism, which uses the mask of religion to further totalitarian goals and aims to destroy the existing international system. These enemies wear no uniform. They have no traditional military assets. They rule no states but can hide and operate in virtually any of them and are supported by some. ........ emboldened by signs of weakness ..... U.S. troops will still be fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan when the next president takes office ...... the international state system that is the primary defense of civilization ...... these are only two battlegrounds in a wider war. The United States must not rest until the al Qaeda network is destroyed and its leaders, from Osama bin Laden on down, are killed or captured. ...... intelligence operatives, paramilitary groups, and Special Operations forces ..... close relationships with other governments and local forces ..... local forces are best able to operate in their home countries ...... a national missile defense system. ..... chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon ...... more robust human intelligence ...... Preventing a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack on our homeland must be the federal government's top priority. We must construct a technological and intelligence shield that is effective against all delivery methods. ....... more effective diplomacy, combined with greater economic and cultural integration ...... international cooperation, and cooperation requires diplomacy. ...... One side denigrates diplomacy because it believes that negotiation is inseparable from accommodation and almost indistinguishable from surrender. The other seemingly believes that diplomacy can solve nearly all problems, even those involving people dedicated to our destruction. ........ strength and diplomacy hand in hand ...... U.S. diplomacy must be tightly linked to our other strengths: military, economic, and moral. ...... Reykjavík in 1986: he was open to the possibility of negotiations but ready to walk away if talking went nowhere ....... never talk for the sake of talking and never accept a bad deal for the sake of making a deal .... undermining popular support for their regime, damaging the Iranian economy, weakening Iran's military, and, should all else fail, destroying its nuclear infrastructure. ....... the era of cost-free anti-Americanism must end. ..... not by imposing our ideas on others but by appealing to their enlightened self-interest ..... the Voice of America program must be significantly strengthened and broadened. Its surrogate stations, such as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which were so effective at inspiring grass-roots dissidents during the Cold War, must be expanded as well. Our entire approach to public diplomacy and strategic communications must be upgraded and extended, with a greater focus on new media such as the Internet. We confront multifaceted challenges in the Middle East, the Pacific region, Africa, and Latin America. In all these places, effective communication can be a powerful way of advancing our interests. We will not shy away from any debate. And armed with honest advocacy, America will win the war of ideas. ....... World events unfold whether the United States is engaged or not, and when we are not, they often unfold in ways that are against our interests. The art of managing a large enterprise is to multitask, and so U.S. foreign policy must always be multidimensional. ........ There is no realistic alternative to the sovereign state system. Transnational terrorists and other rogue actors have difficulty operating where the state system is strong, and they flourish where it is weak. ....... NATO's role and character should be reexamined. For almost 60 years, it has been a vital bond connecting the United States and Europe. ....... think more boldly and more globally ..... We should open the organization's membership to any state that meets basic standards of good governance, military readiness, and global responsibility, regardless of its location. ...... Much of America's future will be linked to the already established and still rising powers of Asia. These states share with us a clear commitment to economic growth, and they must be given at least as much attention as Europe. ....... U.S. cooperation with India on issues ranging from intelligence to naval patrols and civil nuclear power will serve as a pillar of security and prosperity in South Asia. ....... U.S. relations with China and Russia will remain complex for the foreseeable future. ....... act shortsightedly, undermining their long-term interest in international norms for the sake of near-term gains ...... make clear that only if China and Russia move toward democracy, civil liberties, and an open and uncorrupted economy will they benefit from the vast possibilities available in the world today. ........ Some look to the governments of Bolivia and Venezuela, and their mentor in Cuba, and see an inevitable path to greater statism. But elections in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru show that the spirit of free-market reform is alive and well ....... helping Africa today will help increase peace and decency throughout the world tomorrow ...... help Africa overcome AIDS and malaria ...... Ultimately, the most important thing we can do to help Africa is to increase trade with the continent. U.S. government aid is important, but aid not linked to reform perpetuates bad policies and poverty. It is better to give people a hand up than a handout. ...... The UN has proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years. ........ mechanisms for international discussion. ...... Much of the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America remains mired in poverty, corruption, anarchy, and terror. ...... The number of functioning democracies in the world has tripled since the 1970s. ....... democracy cannot be achieved rapidly or sustained unless it is built on sound legal, institutional, and cultural foundations. ...... It can only work if people have a reasonable degree of safety and security. Elections are necessary but not sufficient to establish genuine democracy. Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. ........ Too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians -- negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. ....... America's commitment to Israel's security is a permanent feature of our foreign policy. ..... Economic development and engagement are proven, if not fail-safe, engines for successfully moving countries into the international system. America's robust domestic economy is one of its greatest strengths. Other nations have found that following the U.S. model -- with low taxes, sensible regulations, protections for private property, and free trade -- brings not only national wealth but also national strength. ......... Ever more open trade throughout the world is essential. ..... a truly global trading system. ..... Foreign aid can help overcome specific problems, but it does not lead to lasting prosperity because it cannot replace trade. Private direct investment is the best way to promote economic development. ...... Companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Levi's helped win the Cold War by entering the Soviet market. Cultural events, such as Van Cliburn's concerts in the Soviet Union and Mstislav Rostropovich's in the United States, also hastened change. ...... Today, we need a similar type of exchange with the Muslim countries that we hope to plug into the global economy. Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are pointing the way by starting to interpret Islam in ways that respect the distinctiveness of their local cultures but are consistent with the global marketplace. ........ mutual respect and mutual benefit ..... Economic investment and cultural influence work best where civil society already exists. ....... helping build functioning civil societies with accountable governments ......... A hybrid military-civilian organization -- a Stabilization and Reconstruction Corps staffed by specially trained military and civilian reservists -- must be developed. ..... building roads, sewers, and schools; advising on legal reform; and restoring local currencies. ...... The United States did similar work, and with great success, in Germany, Japan, and Italy after World War II. ..... the rich civic traditions in these nations ....... America must play an even more active role to strengthen the international state system. ....... In this decade, for the first time in human history, half of the world's population will live in cities. ...... when security is reliably established in a troubled part of a city, normal life rapidly reestablishes itself: shops open, people move back in, children start playing ball on the sidewalks again, and soon a decent and law-abiding community returns to life. ....... Tolerating bad behavior breeds more bad behavior. ..... Eisenhower and his successors accepted Truman's framework, but they corrected course to fit the specific challenges of their own times ....... We must base our trust on the actions, rather than the words, of others. ..... evil must be confronted -- not appeased -- because only principled strength can lead to a realistic peace.
The Long Road to Pyongyang Foreign Affairs The outcome of the North Korean nuclear saga has been held up as an example of the Bush administration defying its bellicose reputation and using multilateralism and diplomacy to defuse a crisis. But in fact, the story is one of extremely poor policymaking and a persistent failure to devise a coherent strategy -- with the result that North Korea has managed to dramatically expand its nuclear capability. ..... North Korea will freeze its main nuclear reactor, at Yongbyon, and allow the return of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors. ..... The portrait that emerges is not one of a confrontational, militaristic administration; what instead becomes apparent is an image of a White House with extremely poor conceptual strategies and decision-making processes. ....... From the beginning, President George W. Bush, as the nation's chief strategist, has failed to articulate a coherent policy for dealing with North Korea. The administration as a whole entered office without a clear foreign policy doctrine. ....... the basic elements of strategy -- ends, means, and the balance between them -- were not lucidly expressed or rigorously debated at the most senior levels of the U.S. government. The result was a strategic muddle, a swirling debate not guided by any clearly calculated long-term vision. ....... after six years, the process has wound up almost exactly where it started -- except now North Korea appears to have tripled the amount of nuclear weapons material in its possession and has become a declared nuclear power. ...... During the transition between administrations in late 2000 and early 2001, a team of Clinton administration national security officials traveled to the home of the secretary of state designate, Colin Powell, to brief him and the national security adviser designate, Condoleezza Rice, on North Korea policy. Powell expressed a desire to pick up on the progress that had been made during the Clinton administration -- progress achieved through extensive bilateral negotiations culminating in a 1994 accord, the Agreed Framework, that froze the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility and its five-megawatt nuclear reactor.
Report: U.S. Workers Most Productive Time American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the farm ... they produce more per person over the year. .... They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians .... the United States "leads the world in labor productivity." ..... The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year .... The U.S.... also beats all 27 nations in the European Union, Japan and Switzerland in the amount of wealth created per hour of work ...... Norway .. inflated by the country's billions of dollars in oil exports and high prices for goods at home ..... third-place France. .... The U.S. employee put in an average 1,804 hours of work in 2006 ..... It pales, however, in comparison with the annual hours worked per person in Asia, where seven economies — South Korea, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Thailand — surpassed 2,200 average hours per worker. But those countries had lower productivity rates. ....... America's increased productivity "has to do with the ICT (information and communication technologies) revolution, with the way the U.S. organizes companies, with the high level of competition in the country, with the extension of trade and investment abroad ........ a lack of investment in training, equipment and technology ...... it was important to raise productivity levels of the lowest-paid workers in the world's poorest countries. ..... China and other East Asian countries are catching up quickest with Western countries. Productivity in the region has doubled in the past decade and is accelerating faster than anywhere else
Is Panama the Americas' Hong Kong? a $5.25 billion expansion of the Canal ...... demolition of their nation's century-old image as a U.S.-created banana republic. "This may even transform Panama into a First World country ....... The Canal was the country's reason for existence ..... dysfuncational political history .... will allow the world's new supersize container vessels to transit the Canal, potentially raising revenue to $5 billion a year by 2025. ..... "We are not like other Central American countries." ..... Panama's nagging reputation for corruption ..... Some 40% of Panamanians still live in poverty — and, in a recent poll, only 22% of them indicated they believed the project would bring economic benefits to the wider population. ..... promised that the lion's share of revenues generated by the Canal's expansion will go to anti-poverty programs such as education reform. ..... Former Foreign Minister Jorge Ritter recalls the domestic political cost paid by President Carter for agreeing to hand back the Canal
Global Warming's Next Victim: Wheat
Inside the Googleplex The Economist Marge Simpson types her name into Google's search engine and is amazed to get 629,000 results. (“And all this time I thought ‘googling yourself' meant the other thing.”) She then looks up her house on Google Maps, goes to “satellite view” and zooms in. To her horror, she sees Homer lying naked in a hammock outside. “Everyone can see you; get inside,” she yells out of the window, and the fumbling proceeds from there. ...... it is making enemies in its own and adjacent industries ..... Some users now keep their photos, blogs, videos, calendars, e-mail, news feeds, maps, contacts, social networks, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and credit-card information—in short, much of their lives—on Google's computers. And Google has plans to add medical records, location-aware services and much else. It may even buy radio spectrum in America so that it can offer all these services over wireless-internet connections. ....... “perhaps the most difficult privacy issues in all of human history ...... a force for good in the world, even in defiance of commercial logic. .... their biggest motivation is not to maximise profits but to improve the world. ..... Google is “arrogant” because it feels “invincible”, says a Xoogler who left to run a start-up firm. The internal attitude towards customers, rivals and partners is “you can't stop us” and “we will crush you” ....... Google worth $160 billion .... revenues of $16 billion and profits of $4.3 billion this year .... Google's success still comes from one main source: the small text ads placed next to its search results and on other web pages. ...... “All that money comes 50 cents at a time ..... three times the volume of its nearest rival, Yahoo!. .... it took a whopping 73% of the budgets of companies that advertise on search engines (versus 21% and 6%, respectively, for Yahoo! and Microsoft). ..... newspapers of the dead-tree sort. .... Its costs are mostly fixed, so any incremental revenue is profit. ..... Google has built, in effect, the world's largest supercomputer. It consists of vast clusters of servers, spread out in enormous datacentres around the world. ..... This infrastructure means that Google can launch any new service at negligible cost or risk. ...... “search, ads, and apps” ..... A new technology, called Google Gears, will make these applications usable even when there is no internet connection. .... constant rumours .... It used to be conventional wisdom that Google would build cheap personal computers for poor countries. This turned out to be nonsense, because Google does not want to make hardware. ....... It is planning to enter an auction for valuable radio spectrum in America, and thinking of radically new business models to make money from wireless data and voice networks, perhaps a free service supported by ads. ..... “It's axiomatic that companies eventually have crises,” says Mr Schmidt. And history suggests that “tech companies that are dominant have trouble from within, not from competitors.” In Google's case, he says, “I worry about the scaling of the company.” Google has been hiring “Nooglers” (new Googlers) at a breathtaking rate. In June 2004 it had 2,292 staff; this June the number had reached 13,786. ...... Google tends to win talent wars because its brand is sexier and its perks are fantastically lavish. Googlers commute on discreet shuttle buses (equipped with wireless broadband and running on biodiesel, naturally) to and from the head office, or “Googleplex”, which is a photogenic playground of lava lamps, volleyball courts, swimming pools, free and good restaurants, massage rooms and so forth. ....... One former executive, now suing Google over her treatment, says that the firm's personnel department is “collapsing” and that “absolute chaos” reigns. When she was hired, nobody knew when or where she was supposed to work, and the balloons that all Nooglers get delivered to their desks ended up God knows where. She started receiving detailed e-mails “enforcing” Google's outward informality by reminding her that high heels and jewellery were inappropriate. Before the corporate ski trip, it was explained that “if you wear fur, they will kill you.” ........... Google is a paradise only for some, she argues. Employees who predate the IPO resemble aristocracy. Engineers get the most kudos, people with other functions decidedly less so. Bright kids just out of college tend to love it, because the Googleplex in effect replaces their university campus—with a dating scene, a laundry service and no reason to leave at weekends. Older Googlers with families tend to like it less, because “everybody, even young mums, works seven days a week.” ....... by trying to create a “Utopia” of untrammelled creativity, Google ended up with “dystopia”. ..... Google has composed a rigorous algorithmic approach to hiring, based on grade-point averages, college rankings and endless logic puzzles on whiteboards. This “genetic engineering of their workforce,” he says, means that “everybody there is a rocket scientist, so everybody is also insecure” and the back-stabbing and politics are reminiscent of an average university's English department. ........ “Creativity comes out of people bumping into each other and not knowing where to go.” The most famous expression of this is the “20% time”. .... It still has only one proven revenue source and most big innovations, such as YouTube, Google Earth and the productivity applications, have come through acquisitions. ...... the 20% time works out to be 120% time .... The chances of ideas being executed, he adds, “are basically zero.” ..... The same phenomenon changed Microsoft in the 1980s, when allegedly T-shirts popped up saying FYIFV (“Fuck you, I'm fully vested”). Already some are going to even “cooler” start-ups, such as Facebook or Twitter. ...... the company's policy of not providing guidance to Wall Street on future earnings ..... Google is fast becoming something like a bank, but one that keeps information rather than money. ...... only a “tiny” number of engineers have access to the databases and everything they do is recorded. ........ could use a person's search history and advertising responses in combination with, say, his location and the itinerary in his calendar, to serve increasingly useful and welcome search results and ads. ...... The test comes when the good times end.
Scrumming down France's Nicolas Sarkozy helps to create a European energy giant ...... Sarkozy has shown his ability to loosen another industrial knot. ..... The French state will go from owning 80% of a medium-sized energy company to holding 35% of a new global energy giant. GDF Suez, as it will be called once shareholders rubber-stamp the deal, will be the leading gas company in Europe and the global leader in liquified natural gas. The merged group also owns nuclear power stations in Belgium and has strong positions in America, Brazil and the Middle East. ....... He accepts that France must adopt modern ideas such as Anglo-Saxon capitalism and globalisation.
Running fast, but where is he going? Pro-American, inspired by morals but pragmatic too: Nicolas Sarkozy sets out his ideas for a new foreign policy ..... Nicolas Sarkozy's hyperactivity .... Sarkozy has persuaded the European Union to adopt a “simplified treaty”, given a diplomatic push to peacekeeping efforts in Darfur, floated the idea of a “Mediterranean Union”, helped to free Bulgarian nurses on death row in Libya, lunched with George Bush at Kennebunkport, dispatched his foreign minister to Iraq, and, this week, delivered a landmark foreign-policy speech in which he issued a stern warning to Iran. ......... campaign promise of a “rupture” with the Chirac era ..... Sarkozy seeks to achieve these aims as a partner of America, not an antagonist .... He even spent his summer holiday in America, which he has called “the greatest democracy in the world”. ..... the stark choice over Iran, should sanctions fail: “an Iranian [nuclear] bomb, or the bombing of Iran.” ....... The choice of Bernard Kouchner, a former UN administrator of Kosovo and co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières, as foreign minister was hugely symbolic. ..... end French paternalism in Africa. ..... He pushed hard, for example, for the UN Security Council resolution on a new peacekeeping force for Darfur. ...... the meeting on Lebanon that Mr Kouchner organised in July in Paris, inviting all Lebanese political groupings, including Hizbullah—a prospect that would have been unthinkable for the Americans. ...... Sarkozy, though, is nothing if not a risk-taker. ..... 71% thought Mr Sarkozy's first 100 days had been positive, and 75% approved of his efforts regarding France's place in the world. The world may still be sizing him up, but the French seem to like what they see.
Amitabh Bachchan rules hearts of Israelis and Palestinians Hindu Israelis and Palestinians, who differ on almost every issue, have a common love -- superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who rules over their hearts. The popularity that Bachchan enjoys here will be envied even by Hollywood stars. Walking through the streets of Jerusalem, one can hear songs from Bollywood movies, especially those starring the Big B. DVDs of Hindi movies are available in most video shops here, with films starring Bachchan a big hit among locals. A single DVD costs 50 Shekel (Rs 500). The challenge Bachchan faces here is only from Gabbar Singh -- the character played by late Amjad Khan in the classic film "Sholay" -- who is equally popular among people of all ages, from teenagers to the elderly. "I like watching the movies of Amit (Bachchan) and Amjad, I love their action movies," said 22-year-old Yassar, who runs a small shop near the church of Sepalca, where, according to Catholic beliefs, Jesus Christ was crucified. "My friends and I watch their movies at least once a week," he said. "'Lawaris', 'Kalia', 'Deewar', 'Parvarish', 'Zanzeer', 'Sahenshah', 'Sholay', 'Black' -- we have watched all these movies," he said and started singing, along with one of his friends, the song "Janu meri jaan, mein tere qurban, main tera tu meri jane sara Hindustan" from the movie "Shaan".
Someone lost the plot Hindustan Times For months if not years, every little thing about the Sholay remake made news. The final product did just the opposite. Critics watched in shocked silence, screamed blue murder and for once, the movie going public agreed wholeheartedly . ...... the disjointed script and direction, aggravated by hammy performances, and a dull music score ..... Shah Rukh Khan's Chak De! India continues to score across the country .
Resignation, and anger, over Becks' absence MSNBC
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Dell to expand Philippine operations ZDNet Asia
NBC, Apple play game of brinkmanship CNET News.com
We’re ready for baby no.5: Brad Pitt Times of India he simply loves being a father ... "I love it and can't recommend it any more highly - although sleep is non-existent," he said. .... "It's the most fun I've ever had and also the biggest pain in the ass I've ever experienced. ... "It makes me much more efficient because when I work I really have to focus, I know I've less time to get things done. Actually I'm quite pleased by it," he added.
Pakistan's Bhutto, Sharif May Be Barred From Polls (Update1)
Hurricane Felix Heads for Honduras With 165-Mph Winds (Update3) Bloomberg
Bangladesh detains Hyderabad blasts accused
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As City-Wide WiFi Fall Apart, An Opening For WiMax 24/7 Wall St.
President Bush makes surprise visit to Iraq Los Angeles Times
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Clinton: Change is better with experience Los Angeles Times
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