World View: Muslim vs. Coptic Christian Clashes in Egypt Grow in Intensity

World View: Muslim vs. Coptic Christian Clashes in Egypt Grow in Intensity

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Muslim vs Coptic Christian clashes in Egypt grow in intensity
  • U.S. delays missile test, while North Korea prepares for one
  • China’s Xi Jinping apparently criticizes North Korea
  • Portugal is about to be the next eurozone crisis

Muslim vs Coptic Christian clashes in Egypt grow in intensity

Coptic Christians flee teargas on the cathedral roof on Sunday (Reuters)
Coptic Christians flee teargas on the cathedral roof on Sunday (Reuters)

Seventeen people were injured on Sunday in clashes between Muslims andCoptic Christians after a funeral ceremony at a Coptic Orthodoxcathedral near Cairo. The funerals were for four Christians who,along with one Muslim, were killed on Friday in some of the worstsectarian violence in months. Panic erupted on Sunday among angryCoptic men, armed with sticks and rocks, who rushed to an adjacentbuilding from which rocks, and then firecrackers and Molotovcoc,tails, were being thrown. Gunshots could also be heard. Coptsare demanding military protection for the churches. Egypt’s presidentMohamed Morsi condemned the violence, and said, “I consider any attackon the cathedral an attack against myself.” However, much of theanger expressed by both Copts and Muslims was directed at Morsi’sMuslim Brotherhood. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Al-Jazeera

U.S. delays missile test, while North Korea prepares for one

The United States has been under international pressure to avoidbeen getting increasingly bellicose each day. For this reason, theU.S. has decided to delay a long-planned missile test scheduled fornext week, “to avoid any misperception or miscalculation.” This comesjust as South Korea’s presidential office says that it expects theNorth Koreans to test-fire a missile around April 10, which is thedate by which the North Koreans have asked that all personnel fromforeign embassies in Pyongyang be evacuated.

North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un is sure to characterize theU.S. decision as a forced retreat by the Americans, who are afraid ofan attack by the North Koreans.

Having said that, there’s a possibility that this “victory” by theNorth Koreans will give them an opportunity to back down from furtherprovocations, at least for a while. However, even in that optimisticscenario, the North Koreans will learn from this “victory” that theycan do anything they want and get away with it. Reuters and Arirang (Seoul)

China’s Xi Jinping apparently criticizes North Korea

In a speech on Sunday, China’s new president Xi Jinping gave a keynoteaddress describing China’s rise, emphasizing that China will always beat peace with its neighbors. He appeared to take a slap at the NorthKoreans:

“Second, we should work together to uphold peace so asto provide security safeguard for boosting common development.Peace is the ever-lasting wish of our people. Peace, like air andsunshine, is hardly noticed when people are benefiting from it.But none of us can live without it. Without peace, development isout of the question. Countries, whether big or small, strong orweak, rich or poor, should all contribute their share tomaintaining and enhancing peace. Rather than undercutting eachother’s efforts, countries should complement each other and workfor joint progress.

The international community should advocate the vision ofcomprehensive security, common security and cooperative securityso as to turn our global village into a big stage for commondevelopment, rather than an arena where gladiators fight eachother.

And no one should be allowed to throw a region and even the wholeworld into chaos for selfish gains. With growing interactionamong countries, it is inevitable that they encounter frictionshere and there. What is important is that they should resolvedifferences through dialogue, consultation and peacefulnegotiations in the larger interest of the sound growth of theirrelations.”

The purposely ambiguous sentence about allowing no one to throw theworld “into chaos” is thought to be a reference to North Korea, butthat’s far from clear, since Xi has made similar statements in itscriticisms of the United States.

At any rate, the North Koreans are certainly not going to pay anyattention. The North Koreans can ignore the Chinese for the samereason that American Democrats can ignore the blacks, and Republicanscan ignore the evangelicals — those groups have nowhere else to do.

In his inspirational homage to peace and harmony, Xi didn’t bother tomention that China has been using its vast military power to bully,threaten and attack neighbors in order to gain control over vastregions of the South China Sea, including islands that historicallybelong to other nations. Shanghai Daily

Portugal is about to be the next eurozone crisis

Portugal’s government is considering a plan to pay public workers andpensioners one month of their salary in treasury bills (a kind ofIOU), rather than cash. The government was thrown into crisis onFriday when the Constitutional Court ruled that said cuts in the wagesand pensions of public employees were unfair because they targetedonly the public sector. The cuts were part of an austerity plan tocut 1.3 billion euros from the budget in 2013, in order to qualify toreceive the next payment in its bailout loan from Europe and the IMF.

Portugal’s prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho gave a somber televisedspeech to the nation on Sunday evening saying that the ConstitutionalCourt decision is causing problems:

“After this decision by the Constitutional Court, it’snot just the government’s life that will become more difficult, itis the life of the Portuguese that will become more difficult andmake the success of our national economic recovery moreproblematic. … [The ruling] introduces uncertainty into aprocess that is already very demanding.”

Now the government is going to be forced to find another way to cut1.3 billion euros from the budget, or face losing the next bailoutloan payment. And so, with the latest Cyprus bailout crisis easinginto history, a new bailout crisis in Portugal is looming.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there does not exista solution to Europe’s financial crisis, since the credit and realestate bubbles of the mid-2000s decade are still collapsing, and willcontinue to collapse into the 2020s. At some point, there will be amajor global panic and financial crisis greater than what happened in1929. Zero Hedge and AP

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