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World View: China 'Annexes' North Korea and Claims 'Ownership'

World View: China 'Annexes' North Korea and Claims 'Ownership'

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Israel in political crisis over ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab draftee exemptions
  • Russian backlash blocks military draftees from the North Caucasus
  • Anti-Chinese protesters in Vietnam chant ‘Paracels-Vietnam, Spratlys-Vietnam’
  • China ‘annexes’ North Korea and claims ‘ownership’
  • Greece to announce privatizations and asset sales
  • Kofi Annan says his Syria peace plans have failed
  • World is not ending on December 21, 2012, despite Mayan calendar

Israel in political crisis over ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab draftee exemptions

Ultra-orthodox Jews demand demand continued exemption from the draft
Ultra-orthodox Jews demand demand continued exemption from the draft

At Israel’s founding in 1948, about 400 exemplary seminary studentswere exempted from military service to pursue full-time, subsidizedbiblical studies. Today that number has grown to about 100,000full-time Torah learners of draft age, making up about 10% of Israel’seligible draftees in what many people are calling a welfare program.Ultra-orthodox Jews defend their exemptions by claiming that theirprayers are necessary for the survival of Israel. Arab Israelis havealso been exempted, and they defend their exemptions by claiming thatthey are treated as second-class citizens in Israel. But now apolitical crisis has been triggered when Israel’s High Court struckdown the so-called Tal Law, which provides for national serviceexemptions for ultra-0rthodox Jews and Arab Israelis. The governmenthas appointed a committee to draft a new law, but it will to deal withcompeting demands from secularists and nationalists who want everyonedrafted, and ultra-Orthodox and Arab activists who want to keep theirspecial exemptions. AP and AFP

Russian backlash blocks military draftees from the North Caucasus

Several attempts by Russian military officials to include militaryconscripts from Russia’s mostly Muslim southern (North Caucasus)provinces have been prevented by mutual xenophobia between ethnicRussians and North Caucasians. Conscripts from Chechnya have beendrafted for military units in Chechnya itself, but plans to draftChechens into the main Russian military have been blocked by scandalsand a backlash by ethnic Russians, including mothers concerned aboutthe possible persecution of their children by Russian officers who hadfought in Chechnya. Some indigenous North Caucasian groups are stillbeing drafted, but that’s expected to end as well. Russia is havingserious problems keeping its army staffed because Russia’s demographicgrowth faces rapid decline. On the other hand, since indigenousCaucasians are not being drafted, the manpower pool for the insurgentsis increasing. Jamestown

Anti-Chinese protesters in Vietnam chant ‘Paracels-Vietnam, Spratlys-Vietnam’

Relations between China and Vietnam continue to deteriorate quicklyover competing claims to the South China Sea. China has been buildingup its military pursuant to its claim to have full sovereignty overthe entire South China Sea, including areas historically belonging toother countries. Vietnamese government officials permitted hundredsof protesters to march through the center of Hanoi on Sunday, wavingbanners and changing “Paracels-Vietnam, Spratlys-Vietnam,” referringthe two major island groups in the South China Sea, referred to asXisha and Nansha, respectively, by the Chinese. Bangkok Post

China ‘annexes’ North Korea and claims ‘ownership’

A report indicates that China has told South Korea that it will notallow the unification of North and South Korea under a democraticgovernment. North Korea will remain under Chinese “influence.” Ifnecessary China will send in troops to set up a North Koreangovernment that will faithfully follow orders from China. In an effortto dampen some of the anger in South Korea, the United States, andJapan, China would maintain North Korea as a separate entity, and nota new province of China. China wants no misunderstanding about whoStrategy Page

Greece to announce privatizations and asset sales

In an attempt to get eurozone agreement on postponing painful newausterity measures, Greece’s new government, led by Antonis Samaras,will announce as many as 28 privatizations to a Eurogroup meeting ofeurozone finance ministers on Monday. The expected proposedprivatizations include the state natural gas, water and bettingcompanies, as well as regional airports and ports, valued at tens ofbillions of euros. However, Alexis Tsipras, head of the left-wingopposition party Syriza, criticized the privatization agenda, saying,sale sign’ put on Greece. The government will have to account for itsactions, the looting of public goods.” Kathimerini and Kathimerini

Kofi Annan says his Syria peace plans have failed

Kofi Annan has admitted something that’s been obvious almost from dayone — that his six-point “peace plan” for Syria has failed. Indeed,as we’ve said repeatedly, the plan may actually have increased theviolence, as it never did anything more than provide a fig leaf behindwhich Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad could stand while continuingfull-scale slaughter of innocent Sunni Arabs, with the enthusiasticsupport of Russia and Iran. Annan visited Damascus on Sunday to talkwith Assad, for whatever reason. Day Press News (Syria)

World is not ending on December 21, 2012, despite Mayan calendar

There have been numerous stories that the world would end on December21, 2012, based on predictions by the Maya civilization centuries ago.However, a recent analysis of the Mayan calendar shows that those whoinfer a prediction of the end of the world later this year haveconfused the calendars of two different civilizations — the Aztecsand the Mayans. The conclusion is that the world will NOT end onDecember 21 of this year, after all. Scientific American

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