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Economic interests behind push for greater US military presence in the region

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Economic interests behind push for greater US military presence in the region


By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Bulatlat.com
If US military presence overseas is about ensuring peace and stability, why did it invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and why is it now provoking Iran? If the US is really serious about pushing for human rights and democracy, why is it constricting civil liberties through the Patriot Act and why is it cracking down on Occupy Wall street activists?

This is because promoting peace, stability, human rights and democracy are not the main reasons for US military presence abroad. It is to give muscle to the push for US economic interests.

This is summed up in an article written by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton with the title “American Pacific Century” in November 2011. She called those demanding for a downsizing of American engagement abroad (read: US military presence) as “misguided.” “From opening new markets for American businesses to curbing nuclear proliferation to keeping the sea lanes free for commerce and navigation, our work abroad holds the key to our prosperity and security at home.”

During the Bush Jr. administration, the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to secure oil and gas pipelines while it invaded Iraq in 2003 to corner the second largest oil reserves in the world. Also, the US intended to stimulate its economy through the production of war materials and reconstruction projects following the occupation. But these did not work and the US government came under pressure from the American public to pull out its troops in both countries.

Initially, the succeeding Obama administration tried to deflect these calls for US troop withdrawal by gradually reducing deployments in Iraq while increasing it in Afghanistan. But the costs of maintaining troops abroad and the pressure being exerted by the economic crisis, worsening unemployment, and the US debt burden forced the Obama administration to reduce government expenditures, including the Department of Defense. The Obama administration’s commitment to reduce expenditures was followed by its announcement that it would refocus its military presence from Iraq and Afghanistan to Asia and the Pacific..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/10/economic-interests-behind-push-for-greater-us-military-presence-in-the-region/

National depression TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 02/12/2012

National depression

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
02/12/2012
This year could be one of the lowest in our history. There is a surfacing depression due to so much stress to the beleaguered Filipino people. We are known in the world as a pliant people and our resilience is exceptional. But until when can we keep on bending? We will definitely snap when depression and extreme stress break our already brittle spinals.

Depression in geology’s common parlance is a landform that is sunken due to several geological factors and mechanisms. Anything that is “pushed” below is a “depression.”

The impeachment proceedings are one source of national depression as it is becoming a national embarrassment rather than a process that positively asserts our global democratic face. The leadership of the lower house has already warned congressmen of their absences and disinterest in other parts of their job description as they sit uselessly in the Senate gallery gloating over their prosecutors..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120212com6.html

New UN resolution unlikely to change Russia and China’s minds on Syria


New UN resolution unlikely to change Russia and China’s minds on Syria

A week after vetoes from Russia and China put an end to a UN resolution on Syria its supporters are coming back with another draft.

­Saudi Arabia, backed by the West and the majority of Arab countries, is hoping the document will be presented before the UN General Assembly, Reuters reports. Unlike the UN Security Council, no country has the power of veto in the assembly, but its resolutions have no legal force.

Little in the text appears to have changed since the previous presentation. The resolution lays the blame for the Syrian violence, which has taken thousands of lives, at the door of President Bashar al-Assad. It also calls for him to step down before a transitional period to a democracy..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-un-resolution-russia-097/

Pop legend Whitney Houston dies (PHOTOS)

Pop legend Whitney Houston dies (PHOTOS)

US singer and actress Whitney Houston has passed away at the age of 48 in Los Angeles. Her publicist Kristen Foster informed the Associated Press of her demise. The cause of her death is as yet unclear.

Unfortunately, it is true,” a spokeswoman for Houston’s family confirmed to Reuters.

The singer was found in a hotel room in Beverly Hills, police spokesman Mark Rosen told reporters. “At 3:55 pm Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.”.... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/star-whitney-houston-dies-101/

Euro-freeze zone: Extreme frost blankets Europe (PHOTOS)

Euro-freeze zone: Extreme frost blankets Europe (PHOTOS)

Thick ice and heavy snow have locked the entire European continent, already claiming the lives of nearly 500 people. And while Europeans are struggling to warm themselves, frigid temperatures are showing no signs of rising in coming weeks.

­Weather forecasts predict the cold snap, which started in late January, to continue until mid-February.

In some parts of Europe thermometers show temperatures lower than -39 Celsius. In the Czech Republic weather forecasters warned that night-time temperatures could reach as low as -40 Celsius in the mountains..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/europe-freeze-cold-death-079/

KMP charges Aquino envoy of inking anomalous $300M agri-deal with Bahrain

KMP charges Aquino envoy of inking anomalous $300M agri-deal with Bahrain



“This so-called joint venture smacks of land-grabbing and conflict of interest on the part of President Aquino’s political lieutenant in the Gulf.” – Danilo Ramos, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
The farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) is calling for official congressional inquiries into the a supposed $300-million land lease deal the Benigno Aquino III government entered with Bahrain. Last week, business reports had it that Bahrain’s Nadir and Ibrahim Sons of Hassan Group signed a $50 million agriculture investment deal with AMA Group Holdings of the Philippines.

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said the deal was actually part of a larger project worth $300 million. The project, he said, was originally launched two years ago and aims to ensure Bahrain’s food security and promote the agribusiness sector.”


Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council Amable R. Aguiluz V with Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. In a statement, the Bahrain official hailed the growing bilateral relations, expressing his country’s “ keenness to further enhance joint cooperation with friendly countries’ officials in strengthening bilateral ties. “ (November 2010 Photo From the office of the SEGC / bulatlat.com)
Ramos said that it was “revolting” how Philippine lands are being devoted for the food security needs of other nations while Filipino farmers suffer worsening landlessness, hunger, and poverty. He criticized Dr. Amable R. Aguiluz V who serves as the Aquino government’s Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council. Aguiluz’’ family owns the AMA Group Holdings that established a joint venture called “RP Harvest” with Bahrain’s Hassan Group, to cultivate bananas, rice and other crops on a 10,000-hectare land in the province of Davao Del Norte in Mindanao.

“This so-called joint venture smacks of land-grabbing and conflict of interest on the part of President Aquino’s political lieutenant in the Gulf,” Ramos said. “Ambassador Aguiluz, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Agrarian Reform have a lot of explaining to do on this massive sell-out of our lands. A no-holds-barred probe on Aguiluz is in order.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/10/kmp-charges-aquino-envoy-of-inking-anomalous-300-agri-deal-with-bahrain/

CBCP head urges impeach court to heed SC ruling By Charlie V. Manalo 02/12/2012

COMPLYING WITH TRO ON CORONA DOLLAR ACCOUNTS ‘ACADEMIC’

CBCP head urges impeach court to heed SC ruling

By Charlie V. Manalo 02/12/2012

As the nation awaits the decision of the Senate in its caucus tomorrow, on whether or not to compel Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) president Pascual Garcia to produce records of the alleged foreign currency deposits of impeached Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona, the head of a Catholic bishops’ group called on contending parties in the impeachment trial to respect the law and follow the SC temporary restraining order (TRO) on Corona’s dollar bank accounts.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma issued the call for the Senate, Malacañang and the House prosecution panel to comply with the SC decision restraining the issuance of a subpoena on the dollar accounts of Corona.

The SC en banc, voting 8 to 5, favored a petition of the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) that baring details of Corona’s accounts will violate Republic Act 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposits Act..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120212hed1.html

‘Stop sale of cosmetics laced with mercury’ 02/12/2012

‘Stop sale of cosmetics laced with mercury’

02/12/2012
A Manila councilor has filed a resolution asking the city government to take action against unscrupulous retailers of cosmetics laced with mercury, an extremely toxic chemical, to protect public health.

District II Councilor Numero “Uno” Lim made the move in response to the continued proliferation of mercury-contaminated skin whitening creams as uncovered by the EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog.

The resolution called on the city government to undertake immediate enforcement operations, in collaboration with the EcoWaste Coalition and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to rid the local market of mercury-tainted cosmetics..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120212met3.html

Noy apppointee to SC gets CJ impeach petition By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/12/2012

Noy apppointee to SC gets CJ impeach petition

By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/12/2012

Malacaangs latest appointee to the Supreme Court (SC) has been tasked to take up the petition filed by Chief Justice Renato Corona questioning the impeachment complaint against him.

The case has been reportedly raffled by the 15-man en banc to Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe after Senior Justice Presbitero Velasco inhibited from the proceedings.

Bernabe, who was appointed by President Aquino last September, filled the post of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who retired from the SC on June 19, 2011..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120212hed5.html

Jardeleza formally assumes post as chief government lawyer By Fernan J. Angeles 02/12/2012

Jardeleza formally assumes post as chief government lawyer

By Fernan J. Angeles 02/12/2012

Malacanang has formally announced the appointment of a new Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza replacing Jose Anselmo Cadiz, whom President Aquino claimed to have resigned and go back to private practice.

Jardeleza, who has been calling the shots at the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) even before the Palace announcement, has reportedly been in quandary and now faces the burden of having to choose between two bosses, the appointing authority or the real boss as referred to by his appointing authority.

Even before he can formally assume post today, appointing authority President Aquino has given Jardeleza a marching order to seek a reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) ruling directing the government to infuse a whopping P 25 billion to the shuttered bank..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120212nat1.html

Developers urged to build communities for survivors 02/12/2012

Developers urged to build communities for survivors

02/12/2012
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday urged real estate developers to help in building sustainable communities for survivors of the major earthquake in Negros Oriental and of tropicala storm “Sendong” in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

“I ask you to contribute whatever resources you have to help our affected fellow citizens. The magnitude of the housing need is huge, but natural calamities can only challenge us to double our efforts,” Binay said in a speech during the Real Estate Developers Recognition and Appreciation Night.

“In CdO and Iligan, we need to build about 14,000 houses. There are designated areas which will serve as relocation sites for the affected families and we urge you to help us develop these areas into sustainable communities,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120212nat3.html

Mystery surrounds murder of former QC solon’s BF By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/12/2012

Mystery surrounds murder of former QC solon’s BF

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/12/2012

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) has started to dig deeper into the killing of long-time boyfriend of former QC Rep. Nanette Castelo Daza inside her residence in Quezon City before midnight last Friday.

The victim, who sustained five gunshot wounds and died on the spot was identified as Noel Orate Sr., 55, a district manager of United Laboratories. He was shot dead inside Daza’s home on Maninging Street, Barangay Teacher’s Village East, Quezon City.

The suspect, Daza’s son-in law, was identified as Romeo Allan Robes, provincial board member of Bulacan. He is the husband of Daza’s daughter, QC Councilor Jessica Castelo Daza..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120212met1.html

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