Official News Of the Day Thread -African National Congress

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ender Sai, Oct 11, 2005.

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  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    This thread is for discussing news events which do not, by themselves, have enough to sustain a thread of their own. [:D]

    Rules are simple; break them, we break you. [face_beatup]

    You discuss the topic at hand only. If not, that's a bannin'. [face_not_talking]

    Try not to post articles that aren't important or too obscure for mass appeal. If you do, that's a bannin. [face_not_talking]

    We'll discuss topics so long as people are interested.

    Touching the mods banstick, better believe that's a bannin'. [face_not_talking]

    PAKISTAN/ASIAN EARTHQUAKE:

    30,000 feared dead, 2.5 million homeless

    On one level, I'm noting that this isn't getting nearly as much soul searching coverage and endless specials as Katrina did, but you can draw your own conclusions on that. o_O

    The main question I have here is this; should a permanant fund be set up for disaster relief, via an international body like the UN, whereby member states contribute a certain amount each year for use when disasters like this, the tsunami, or Katrina strike? That'd enable a theoretically quicker response and relief effort to be coordinated and implemented, for starters.

    The secondary question I have is this; should states that are afflicted by natural disasters enough that they could be said to be a feature of the state (for example, you know you're going to get typhoons in Hong Kong and Taiwan) be required to maintain certain arbitrated standards of emergency response and relief teams?

    GERMANY:
    Merkel becomes first female Chancellor

    Is this really a victory, or is Merkel's position and the compromises the SPD levied on it essentially symbolic, or worse, phyrric?

    It's clear the SPD were losing favour, and whilst they did manage to rebound enough to score a good percentage of votes, Germans feel they're not entirely up to the challenge.

    Furthermore, does Merkel's stance on Turkey in the EU and her pro-Anglosphere outlook mean a possible realignment in German foreign policy?

    E_S

    EDIT: Fixed
  2. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Sorry I've got nothing to contribute at the moment, but I just wanted to say what a good idea this thread is.
  3. cal_silverstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 4
    On one level, I'm noting that this isn't getting nearly as much soul searching coverage and endless specials as Katrina did, but you can draw your own conclusions on that.

    The main question I have here is this; should a permanant fund be set up for disaster relief, via an international body like the UN, whereby member states contribute a certain amount each year for use when disasters like this, the tsunami, or Katrina strike? That'd enable a theoretically quicker response and relief effort to be coordinated and implemented, for starters.

    The secondary question I have is this; should states that are afflicted by natural disasters enough that they could be said to be a feature of the state (for example, you know you're going to get typhoons in Hong Kong and Taiwan) be required to maintain certain arbitrated standards of emergency response and relief teams?


    First off, great idea for a thread, as my attention span starts going haywire if we stay on one topic for too long.

    On the topic at hand: the reason the American media was focused so much on Katrina is obviously because it happened here in America. As much as I feel bad for the Pakistanis, I really don?t think we should be sending so much money. As soon as I heard about it, my first thought was: ?Oh great, how many billions is Bush gonna pledge now??

    I?m all for contributing our troops to help with disaster relief, but sending millions in an aid package is not fiscally responsible. Any country experiences a natural disaster and suddenly we?re obligated to ship off money? We got our own problems.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well, that was what I was getting at; that members of the UN should be running a fund to deal with this ASAP without waiting for donations to come from others states.

    However, I don't want to see nation-states abandon noblesse oblige - it's a cornerstone of international relief, really.

    E_S
  5. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    What with 2.5 million people homeless and winter coming on, the Pakistan earthquake has the potential to be the worst natural disaster of our time in terms of loss of life. Hopefully these people will be able to find shelter of some sort, but the practicalities of trying to find housing for 2.5 million people in a matter of months or even weeks would stress the powers of the United States on its own home soil. Just look at the problems generated by Katrina. Pakistan has far fewer resources to call upon, far less money to throw at the problem, and a far less efficient government. It?s going to be nasty at best.
  6. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I hope this doesn't lead to military strife over there.

    What a disaster.

    Peace,

    V-03
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    If you use the Tsunami as a starting point, the last 10-11 months have featured some of the worst successive disasters in a long time.
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    From the Germany link:
    Under the terms of the agreement, the Social Democrats would head the foreign, finance, labor, justice, health, transport, environment and development ministries.

    Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Bavaria-only allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), would get the defense, interior, agriculture, families and education portfolios.


    What I notice there is Merkel's reform minister gets agriculture. Is the German level of agri-subsidy what it is in France?
  9. Darth_Doug Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2002
    star 1
    Given the changes that are taking place in Germany (with a more U.S. and British-friendly Chancellor) and with SecState Rice talking to France et al. about Iran and their nuclear intentions, are we seeing a brighter future for U.S. - EU relations? It seems like much of the tension which dominated the upper levels of government on both sides of the Atlantic has settled down quite a bit.

    Regarding the disaster in Kashmir, I think that this is both a tragedy and an opportunity. A tragedy because of the loss of life and homelessness that has resulted from the quake, and an opportunity because India and Pakistan now have something more in common than merely claiming the same land, and they could work together to resolve some of the bad feelings between the two countries. Of course, as has been mentioned, it could certainly go the other direction as well and become an additional source of friction.

    Good thread, good luck enforcing the rules!

    Darth Doug
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I think these things are always cyclical, and perhaps they should be.

    I think Merkel herself summed it up best when she said of increasing relations with the US-

    "That doesn't mean we have to agree on every issue," Merkel said. "But there needs to be a good trustful relationship."

    HERE

    What's also interesting is that Schroeder was completely locked out of any role in even the coalition government. Perhaps his greatest outgoing victory was to negoiate the concessions for his own party, while at the same time being regarded as the scapegoat.

    At any rate, I think Merkel has a tough road ahead of her. She says her first order of business is focused on reducing the social welfare aspect of the German state, and to tackle Germany's 12% unemployment.

    Both are going to be difficult to tackle right out of the gate.
  11. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I cannot see this 'Grand Coalition' lasting long. The SPD will never allow Merkel to go through with her reforms. Expect fresh elections within a year.
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I wouldn't be too surprised at this either, and may be why Schroeder is distancing himself from the coalition.

    Schroeder was always charismatic, and if the new government stumbles, he certainly has the option of sweeping in since he's not part of it.

    What he would have to do though, is change a portion of his old policies, or the backlash against him would return just as quickly.
  13. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I certainly see that as a possibility. Old Gerhard is as wily as they come.

    Oh and Ender, in future please note that it is SPD, not SDP as you twice typed in your opening post [face_shame_on_you]
  14. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Darth Karde
    please note that it is SPD, not SDP as you twice typed in your opening post

    [face_laugh] That's how Yoda would say it.

    Socialist Party of democrats it is, yes.....

    pesky germans
  15. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Socialist Party of democrats it is, yes.....

    I am afraid that you have done little better than our esteemed moderator.

    The correct name is Social Democratic Party of Germany which in German translates to Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
  16. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Indeed.

    Prrsonally I favour the german non voter party.

    I'm not sure how much Germany can realign it's policies. Certainly it can be more supportive of the US-UK common law marriage, but I think any concrete support would not be supported by the populace and would result in new elections. I also don't think Germany can out and out abandon the EU, however seperating themselves from the french position would I think be a positive move.


    I would hesitate to the point of pocket vetoing any idea to have the UN govern any such relief fund E_S. even the idea I think would flounder on annual contributions from states. One more international expedniture which would be tossed around on the violent winds of internal monetary politics.

    Disatser response standards for states meanwhile would run into the sticky question of how to encourage or enforce the behavior you want. After all, any nation that is responsible to it's people and a perenial target would almost have to have such responders set into place.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    :confused: What mistake? I see only SPD... [face_whistling]

    E_S
  18. Loopster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2000
    star 4
    This is going to sound terrible, but I think we are beginning to get all disastered out. Coverage of the Pakistani earthquake has been subdued for several reasons, not least of which I think we've had so much bad news recently what with the Tsunami, the American Hurricanes, the Bali bombings, the London bombings, Niger famine, that I think people aren't as interested in the bad news as they were 12 months ago. Absolutely no-one I know has said anything to me about the Pakistani earthquake. Not one word.
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I don't think it sounds bad; I think it sounds cynically accurate.

    E_S
  20. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 6
    First off, great idea for a thread!


    On one level, I'm noting that this isn't getting nearly as much soul searching coverage and endless specials as Katrina did, but you can draw your own conclusions on that.

    Yeah, there are a lot of arguments that prove why, though. Maybe the American media just doesn't care about foreign events if it doesn't directly involve America. This is a time when we have to ask ourselves: Does the media reflect the average American? Or are they out of touch?

    I think that a UN organization to hold disaster relief money would be, in itself, a disaster. Forgive me for sounding like a far right-winger, but I really don't want to see any more power or money entrusted to the UN. It's beginning to show flaws and weaknesses that led to the demise of the League of Nations. Maybe a world organization needs a true revamp every generation or so in order to stay effective. Besides, that would really just be putting a different name on what already happens. You could just as easily run out of money in a UN fund. I think the current system of donating money and resources is better. That way the burden doesn't necessarily fall on any one nation every single time, unless that nation willingly devotes money and resources to that disaster.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    As for Germany, as an American I am naturally thrilled at the idea of a more pro-American leader there, but I have questions about the system of government over there. What exactly is this Coalition capable of? By all superficial appearances, it seems like this government is really weak, and really doesn't put them any better off than an election dead-lock. How does it work? I understand that different cabinet posts have been assigned to different party members, but who has the power to call an election, and for what reasons? It seems to me that as Chancellor, Merkel should have a little more power than being dicatated to by an agricultural minister or something. Can someone explain this?

    I don't think that this means a huge shift in American policy, though I think she will distance her nation from France, which, up until the Iran nuclear thing, has been generally pissing everybody off, not just the Americans. I think recent German events are the biggest steps toward isolating France as the crazy uncle nobody in the family talks about. Not that I want to isolate France out of spite, but I really do believe their policies are harmful to the world, even more so than an aggressive "bully" policy arguably pursued by the Bush administration.
  21. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    In Australia the media only cares if the disaster injures/kills an Aussie. Since the Pakistani earthquake did not meet this criteria, the coverage has been minimal and has focused instead on how Australians are contributing to the relief effort. It's terrible that the media would only think we care about the human beings that happened to be born within the borders of our country.
  22. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah, I'd agree with that. When news comes in it seems the news agencies are quick to report that they are trying to determine whether any Australian are affected as some kind of indicator as to whether the story will be followed up or not.

    News: massive landslide kills 10,000 - no Australians involved = move on quickly to next story.

    The major exception being when bad stuff happens to the Amercicans.

    And whilst we're on the subject of news - is it just me or is Channel 10 news updates now being presented in a question and answer format: eg - "man falls from cliff - but did he survive?" rather than "man survives fall from cliff".
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I didn't watch Australian news when I lived there, and I won't watch it whence I return. ;)


    ES
  24. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    And whilst we're on the subject of news - is it just me or is Channel 10 news updates now being presented in a question and answer format: eg - "man falls from cliff - but did he survive?" rather than "man survives fall from cliff".

    You forgot to include dramatic - and unnecessary - words in that example.

    "Man survives a devastating bone-crunching fall from a MASSIVE cliff."
  25. Vaderbait Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 6
    I read an interesting article once by someone bashing the media and telling them to stop using adjectives until they learn how to correctly use them. It was a hoot.
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