Sunday Musings

Germany’s Merkel Slams US Over Spying Allegations
German chancellor Angela Merkel sharply criticized the US for its espionage practices in the wake of the arrests of two individuals for spying on Germany.

“We are not living in the Cold War anymore and are exposed to different threats. We should concentrate on what is essential,” she said.

In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Merkel said security services would continue their collaboration with US spy agencies and indicated she did not expect Washington “to completely change the way their intelligence services work.”

Is Hamas Sacrificing The Lives Of Gazans To Achieve Its Goals?
More than a hundred residents of Gaza have died in the last week as a result of continued bombing by Israeli forces, which continued through the weekend. And on Sunday, Israel issued another warning that airstrikes would be coming resulting in thousands fleeing from the city.

Despite the rising death toll in Gaza, Hamas has continued its practice of targeting Israeli citizens, which lead some to speculate that Palestinian lives are more tragic because they are being used as part of the terror group’s strategy.

“Dead Palestinians represent a crucial propaganda victory for the nihilists of Hamas. It is perverse, but true. It is also the best possible explanation for Hamas’s behavior, because Hamas has no other plausible strategic goal here,” asserts Bloomberg News’ Jeffrey Goldberg.

Even United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon lays blame on Hamas, saying, “We face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza, with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable — and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing.”

New Report Calls For Reform Of Social Institutions
Future generations will pay a high price if countries fail to reform pension, health care and unemployment schemes, according to a new report.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development issued a warning in its report, Vulnerability of Social Institutions, about the danger posed to the economic security of present and future generations by demographic changes and slower growth.

“The legacy of high government debt and weak growth prospects stemming from the global economic crisis strengthen the call for adapting social institutions. Projections of future public health care and pension spending indicate that policies must be developed today to address spending pressures so that countries can avoid a considerable tax hike or benefit cuts in the future. The crisis has also revealed the weaknesses of social institutions in some countries,” says OECD.

They note that the ratio of workers to retirees will on average shrink from 4.2 to 2.1 across the OECD area by 2050 and that the structural unemployment which has emerged since the financial crash it placing increased pressure on unemployment and other social spending.

Quick Hits
Time magazine looks at the Future World Order

Eric Chabrow also looks at global internet policy and explains why governance is so difficult to manage.

University of Bath professor Rana Jawad writes on the need for Arab states to adopt cohesive social policies if they wish to achieve stability.


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