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  William Vocke    Special to The China Post
“Asia Pacific economic economies will see subdued growth in 2013 after last year's sharp slowdown caused by external factors,” is the prognosis from a recent U.N. survey.
“Trade is the cheapest way to produce growth,” exclaimed European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso before an executive audience adding, that a planned Transatlantic trade pact between the U.S. and Europe Union would produce a “win-win solution in trade” for both sides of the Atlantic.
Margaret Thatcher, the penultimate British Conservative Prime Minister, was a revolutionary.
The increasingly ballistic bluster pouring out from Pyongyang threatening South Korea, Japan and the U.S. with nuclear attacks has jolted East Asia into “paying attention.”
The winds of change continue to swirl throughout the Middle East as the region enters the third year of the political phenomenon optimistically dubbed as the Arab Spring. While political scientists debate the ebb and flow of freedoms and anarchy in the region ranging from Egypt to Libya and Syria, the ancient Christian communities which have lived in the Holy Land are buffeted by daily events and by the enduring fear of the future.
“The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale ... when dozens of countries and billions of people move up the development ladder as they are doing today, it has a direct impact on wealth creation and broader human progress,” cites the glowing introduction to the U.N. Development Program's (UNDP) annual Human Development Report.
When the Security Council passed a package of uncharacteristically tough sanctions on North Korea over the communist regime's nuclear weapons tests and missile proliferation, the Pyongyang leadership went rhetorically ballistic.
All of Syria's five neighboring countries sensed a quiet pleasure in seeing the rebellion against the Damascus dictatorship start two years ago. Many observers, knowing the authoritarian political pedigree of the Assad family rule, probably assumed Syria's entrenched but moribund political system would be swept away by the winds of the so-called Arab Spring. Thus this misplaced sense of schadenfreude for what many thought would be another Egypt or Tunisia.
It's long been an economic truism that the United States pays the lion's share of the U.N. budget. Moreover the European Union (EU) countries pay the largest bloc of dues of the 193 member organization.
It should come as no surprise that a country haunted by the aftermath of civil war, challenged by military coups, mired in corruption, and facing the undertow of poverty would be a prime candidate for drug smuggling.
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