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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Apr-2013
8-Apr-13 World View -- Muslim vs Coptic Christian clashes in Egypt grow in intensity

Web Log - April, 2013

8-Apr-13 World View -- Muslim vs Coptic Christian clashes in Egypt grow in intensity

Portugal is about to be the next eurozone crisis

This morning's key headlines from

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 and Coptic Christians after a funeral ceremony at a Coptic Orthodox cathedral near Cairo. The funerals were for four Christians who, along with one Muslim, were killed on Friday in some of the worst sectarian violence in months. Panic erupted on Sunday among angry Coptic men, armed with sticks and rocks, who rushed to an adjacent building from which rocks, and then firecrackers and Molotov coc,tails, were being thrown. Gunshots could also be heard. Copts are demanding military protection for the churches. Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi condemned the violence, and said, "I consider any attack on the cathedral an attack against myself." However, much of the anger expressed by both Copts and Muslims was directed at Morsi's Muslim 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 avoid "provoking" the fears and anxieties of the North Koreans, who have been getting increasingly bellicose each day. For this reason, the U.S. has decided to delay a long-planned missile test scheduled for next week, "to avoid any misperception or miscalculation." This comes just as South Korea's presidential office says that it expects the North Koreans to test-fire a missile around April 10, which is the date by which the North Koreans have asked that all personnel from foreign embassies in Pyongyang be evacuated.

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

Having said that, there's a possibility that this "victory" by the North Koreans will give them an opportunity to back down from further provocations, at least for a while. However, even in that optimistic scenario, the North Koreans will learn from this "victory" that they can 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 keynote address describing China's rise, emphasizing that China will always be at peace with its neighbors. He appeared to take a slap at the North Koreans:

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

The international community should advocate the vision of comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security so as to turn our global village into a big stage for common development, rather than an arena where gladiators fight each other.

And no one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains. With growing interaction among countries, it is inevitable that they encounter frictions here and there. What is important is that they should resolve differences through dialogue, consultation and peaceful negotiations in the larger interest of the sound growth of their relations."

The purposely ambiguous sentence about allowing no one to throw the world "into chaos" is thought to be a reference to North Korea, but that's far from clear, since Xi has made similar statements in its criticisms of the United States.

At any rate, the North Koreans are certainly not going to pay any attention. The North Koreans can ignore the Chinese for the same reason that American Democrats can ignore the blacks, and Republicans can ignore the evangelicals -- those groups have nowhere else to go.

In his inspirational homage to peace and harmony, Xi didn't bother to mention that China has been using its vast military power to bully, threaten and attack neighbors in order to gain control over vast regions of the South China Sea, including islands that historically belong 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 and pensioners one month of their salary in treasury bills (a kind of IOU), rather than cash. The government was thrown into crisis on Friday when the Constitutional Court ruled that said cuts in the wages and pensions of public employees were unfair because they targeted only the public sector. The cuts were part of an austerity plan to cut 1.3 billion euros from the budget in 2013, in order to qualify to receive the next payment in its bailout loan from Europe and the IMF.

Portugal's prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho gave a somber televised speech to the nation on Sunday evening saying that the Constitutional Court decision is causing problems:

"After this decision by the Constitutional Court, it's not just the government's life that will become more difficult, it is the life of the Portuguese that will become more difficult and make the success of our national economic recovery more problematic. ... [The ruling] introduces uncertainty into a process that is already very demanding."

Now the government is going to be forced to find another way to cut 1.3 billion euros from the budget, or face losing the next bailout loan payment. And so, with the latest Cyprus bailout crisis easing into history, a new bailout crisis in Portugal is looming.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there does not exist a solution to Europe's financial crisis, since the credit and real estate bubbles of the mid-2000s decade are still collapsing, and will continue to collapse into the 2020s. At some point, there will be a major global panic and financial crisis greater than what happened in 1929. Zero Hedge and AP

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Apr-13 World View -- Muslim vs Coptic Christian clashes in Egypt grow in intensity thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Apr-2013) Permanent Link
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