Have you heard of BRICS?

The group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

bricsThe group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation has equal say, regardless of GDP size.

Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal to reach $100 billion. The BRICS Bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, India will preside as president the first year, and Russia will be the chairman of the representatives.

BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.

BRIC projections are based on the assumptions that resources are limitless and endlessly available when needed. In reality, many important resources currently necessary to sustain economic growth, such as oil, natural gas, coal, other fossil fuels, and uranium might soon experience a peak in production before enough renewable energy can be developed and commercialised, which might result in slower economic growth than anticipated, thus throwing off the projections and their dates. The economic emergence of the BRICs will have unpredictable consequences for the global environment. Indeed, proponents of a set carrying capacity for the Earth may argue that, given current technology, there is a finite limit to how much the BRICs can develop before exceeding the ability of the global economy to supply.

Academics and experts have suggested that China is in a league of its own compared to the other BRIC countries. As David Rothkopf wrote in Foreign Policy, “Without China, the BRICs are just the BRI, a bland, soft cheese that is primarily known for the whine [sic] that goes with it. China is the muscle of the group and the Chinese know it. They have effective veto power over any BRIC initiatives because without them, who cares really? They are the one with the big reserves. They are the biggest potential market.bricks

POTENTIAL MEMBERS
* – Indonesia
* – Turkey
* – Argentina
* – Egypt
* – Iran
* – Nigeria
* – Syria

Muslims Banned from Fasting

Beijing – China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadaan and ordered restaurants to stay open, official websites showed as the holy month began on Thursday.

Most Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk during the month but China’s ruling Communist Party is officially atheist and for years has restricted the practice in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

“Food service workplaces will operate normal hours during Ramadaan,” said a notice posted last week on the website of the state Food and Drug Administration in Xinjiang’s Jinghe county.

Officials in the region’s Bole county were told: “During Ramadaan do not engage in fasting, vigils or other religious activities,” according to a local government website report of a meeting this week.

Uighur rights groups say China’s restrictions on Islam in Xinjiang have added to ethnic tensions in the region, where clashes have killed hundreds in recent years.

China says it faces a terrorist threat in Xinjiang, with officials blaming “religious extremism” for growing violence.

“China’s goal in prohibiting fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadaan,” said Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress.

“Policies that prohibit religious fasting are a provocation and will only lead to instability and conflict.”

Going one step beyond simply discouraging government employees to forgo fasting, police and court officials in Awat county were ordered to “take the lead in teaching family members not to fast and not to participate in Ramadaan-related religious activities”, according to a post on China Legal Media.

As in previous years, school children were included in directives limiting Ramadaan fasting and other religious observances.

The education bureau of Tarbaghatay city, known as Tacheng in Chinese, this month ordered schools to communicate to students that “during Ramadaan, ethnic minority students do not fast, do not enter mosques… and do not attend religious activities”.

Similar orders were posted on the websites of other Xinjiang education bureaus and schools.

Officials in the region’s Qiemo county this week met with local religious leaders to inform them there would be increased inspections during Ramadaan in order to “maintain social stability”, the county’s official website said.

Ahead of the holy month, one village in Yili, near the border with Kazakhstan, said mosques must check the identification cards of anyone who comes to pray during Ramadaan, according to a notice on the government’s website.

The Bole county government said that Mehmet Talip, a 90-year-old Uighur Communist Party member, had promised to avoid fasting and vowed to “not enter a mosque in order to consciously resist religious and superstitious ideas”.

AFP

Zuma’s Government is in breach of foundational values of our constitutional democracy

Jacob Zuma and his administration are in breach of the South African Constitution. To which he must step-down or be removed. The current administration is sabotaging the economy, infrastructure and alienating South Africa from the Western countries – to aligning us with Communistic countries such as Russia and China. Putin+Zuma+Mar+26+2013Instead of promoting peace, good governance and to build a sustainable economic stability. We as a country are are losing the confidence of the international community and potential/current investors. As the President of South Africa, Zuma should realise that at the heart of the observance of the rule of law, which the Constitutional Court of South Africa

Jacob Zuma and his administration are in breach of the South African Constitution. To which he must step-down or be removed. The current administration is sabotaging the economy, infrastructure and alienating South Africa from the Western countries – by aligning us with communistic and dictatorship countries such as Russia, China, etc. Putin+Zuma+Mar+26+2013Instead of promoting peace, good governance and to build a sustainable economic stability. We are losing the confidence of the international community and potential/current investors. Zuma, as the President of South Africa, should realise that at the heart of the observance to the rule of law, which the Constitutional Court of South Africa explained in these terms:

‘The exercise of public power must … comply with the constitution, which is the supreme law, and the doctrine of legality, which is part of that law. The doctrine of legality, which is an incident of the rule of law, is one of the constitutional controls through which the exercise of public power is regulated by the constitution. It entails that both the Legislature and the Executive “are constrained by the principle that they may exercise no power and perform no function beyond that conferred on them by the law”. In this sense the Constitution entrenches the principle of legality and provides the foundation for the control of public power.’

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With Al-Bashir

Central to the affirmation or oath of office is the obligation to uphold the foundational values of our constitutional democracy, which include the rule of law, human dignity, equality, freedom, transparency and accountability.

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The Rule of Law is the concept that a functioning society needs an accessible, independent and transparent legal system, along with a set of laws that everyone, including the government, follows. Where the Rule of Law is strong, day-to-day essentials such as health, safety, shelter, employment, education and family are often taken for granted.

Where the Rule of Law is weak, the above-mentioned essentials are often absent and suffocating poverty, debilitating illness, human rights violations and government corruption stand in their place. Does Zuma want to destroy South Africa or maybe he just is not qualified for the job?