World View: United Nations Approves Military Intervention in Mali

World View: United Nations Approves Military Intervention in Mali

This morning’s key headlines from

  • The Chinese prepare for the end of the world on Friday (today)
  • United Nations approves military intervention in Mali
  • Interest rate fixing probe expands into Asia

The Chinese prepare for the end of the world on Friday (today)

Liu Qiyuan and his 'tsunami survival pod' in China's Hebei province
Liu Qiyuan and his ‘tsunami survival pod’ in China’s Hebei province

Many people around the world believe that the world is coming to anend on Friday, thanks to an ancient Mayan calendar and to thousands ofdoomsday web sites. According to polls, 20% of the population believethis in China, whereas 22% believing it in the United States. 

TheChinese have been panic-buying candles and other supplies because ofrumors that the doomsday will begin with total darkness. (It’s notclear to me why you need candles if the world is going to end.) Chinahas arrested over 450 people for spreading rumors about the imminentapocalypse. 

One Chinese entrepreneur, Liu Qiyuan, a formerfurniture-maker, now builds “survival pods,” with a capacity of 14people each, to survive 100-foot high tsunamis. However, MasterYancan, a Buddhist abbot in Cangzhou, says, “I suggest we nominateDecember 21 as World Humor Day to commemorate the humor of the Mayans.Why bother to believe rumors such as this? Just enjoy your life.”Al-Jazeera

United Nations approves military intervention in Mali

The United Nations Security Council has authorized militaryintervention in Mali. They aim to recapture the northern 2/3rds of the country,which has fallen into the hands of several terrorist groups linked toAl-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). 

UNSC members votedunanimously on Thursday to approve the resolution to restore peace andprotect human rights in Mali. The resolution passed on pressure fromFrance, which fears that if AQIM establishes a firm stronghold innorthern Mali, it will be used as a base to launch terroristattacks on Algeria and Europe, particularly France. 

However, most UNSCmembers really aren’t too anxious to endorse military action in Mali,and so the resolution sets no time frame and no implementation plan,except a vague expectation that the troops will be provided by ECOWAS,the Economic Community of West African States.


Interest rate fixing probe expands into Asia

As we reported yesterday, theDepartment of Justice has brought charges against the Japanesesubsidiary of the Swiss bank UBS AG for falsely influencinginternational interest rates (Libor) in order to defraud investors.The UBS charges have served as a wake-up call to investigativeagencies in several Asian companies, including the Hong Kong MonetaryAuthority and Japan’s Financial Services Agency. 

These agencies areopening a probe into Asian subsidiaries of other European banks,including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays, UBS, Deutsche BankAG, and Rabobank Groep. According to one analyst, Asian prosecutersare more willing to send crooked bankers to jail, unlike Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department; the White House has refused toinvestigate and send bankers to jail, even in the face of massiveevidence of criminal fraud, presumably because these bankerscontribute a lot of campaign money to President Obama. 

After allthese years, not a single American bank employee has been jailed forthe financial crisis, despite absolute proof that fraud was committed.In today’s America, respectable people are gangsters, and gangstersare treated as respectable people. Bloomberg 

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Liu Qiyuan, U.N. Security Council,Mali, ECOWAS, Hong Kong Monetary Authority,Japan’s Financial Services Agency, Eric Holder  

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