viernes, 18 de marzo de 2016

2016/03/17 Political Anticipation - LEAP Press review

NATO, central banks, migrant crisis, TTIP, technologies … Western elites in panic mode for a future in the form of a question mark
Considering the barrage of change indicators, our GEAB team currently feels like they don’t know where to start in order to provide a coherent and complete picture of the crisis. Yet, this feeling is probably nothing compared to what our leaders and their advisers experience. A sense of loss of control of the flow of events probably characterizing the Western leadership in 2016 is what makes the rest of the year quite difficult to predict. The general feeling is that we are approaching the unwinding of a ten year paradigm shift, but the panic created by the approaching perspective of actual change among the leaders, the Western leaders in particular, is once again raising the question of the exact form this unwinding will take. In this introductory article of the GEAB 103 edition, we simply list a series of facts revealing this growing and worrying state of panic, as well as the trends which, we believe, will worsen it even more... (Read the GEAB 103 )
Turkey Wants Three Things to Stop Refugees. One Is a Problem
Turkey wants three things in return for stopping the transit of refugees from the Middle East to the European Union: money, a quicker path toward joining the EU, and the no-questions-asked right of Turks to travel to Europe. The first is no problem, the second a bit trickier. The hardest to deliver, for a 28-nation bloc beset by fears of terrorism and anti-foreigner demagoguery, is visa-free entry for 78 million Turks as of July... (Bloomberg)
Dollar dives, higher commodity prices lift shares
The U.S. dollar index dropped to a five-month low on Thursday while shares in major markets were on track to close at their highest level of the year as a dovish U.S. Federal Reserve emboldened investors to take in more risk. Traders continued to digest the previous day's statement and projections from the Fed, which scaled down to two its expectations of the number of U.S. rate hikes likely over the next nine months. It previously estimated four hikes through 2016... (Reuters)
Internet, artificial intelligence, robotics: 2040, from human enhancement to human … obsolescence?
The GEAB 103 is offering the readers some guidelines for reflection on the technological revolution we are all currently experiencing and which, far from being completed, is undergoing new accelerated phases. Internet, artificial intelligence, robotics... all lead to one fundamental trend almost absent from the political debate despite its potential social impact... (Take a one year subscription to the GEAB)

In Two Moves, AlphaGo and Lee Sedol Redefined the Future
In Game Two, the Google machine made a move that no human ever would. And it was beautiful. As the world looked on, the move so perfectly demonstrated the enormously powerful and rather mysterious talents of modern artificial intelligence. But in Game Four, the human made a move that no machine would ever expect. And it was beautiful too. Indeed, it was just as beautiful as the move from the Google machine—no less and no more... (Wired)
Israel, Greece and Cyprus to Explore Building Joint Gas Pipeline to Europe
Israel, Greece and Cyprus will explore the possibility of building a natural gas pipeline to Europe, tapping huge gas reserves discovered in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years, leaders of the three countries said yesterday. Groups of specialists will be appointed to assess the pipeline idea, and plans are proceeding to create an undersea  electricity cable to Europe, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Nicosia... (Haaretz)

Has the EU stopped lying to itself on refugees?
"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing … after they have exhausted all other possibilities" is a famous quote, versions of which have been attributed to Winston Churchill. It might now be the turn of European Union member countries to do the right thing in the refugee and migrant crisis. Finally. Myriad mistakes from the past might, however, still lead to a sad outcome, where those who genuinely need help will not get it: real refugees... (EUObserver)
Germany shuts embassy, consulate and schools in Turkey on 'very concrete' tip-off
Germany's foreign ministry issued a statement advising caution in Ankara, Istanbul and other major Turkish cities. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went into further detail on Thursday morning in Berlin. "Yesterday evening, some very concrete indications - to be taken very seriously - reached our security services, saying that terror attacks against German institutions within Turkey were being prepared," Steinmeier said... (Deutsche Welle)

Russia can make powerful Syria military comeback in hours: Putin
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia could scale up its military presence in Syria again within hours and would still bomb terrorist groups there despite a partial draw-down of forces ordered after military successes. Speaking in one of the Kremlin's grandest halls three days after he ordered Russian forces to partially withdraw from Syria, the Russian leader said the smaller strike force he had left behind was big enough to help forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad keep advancing... (Reuters)
Specter of `Brexit' Prompts Warning From Hong Kong's Richest Man
As the U.K.’s future in the European Union hangs on the outcome of a referendum looming in June, one of the country’s biggest foreign investors is calling out for voters to say no. Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka-shing, the tycoon who’s seeking to buy O2 and create the biggest mobile-phone carrier in the U.K., said on Thursday that he’d "surely" scale back investments in the country in the event that Britain exits from the EU. Li,... (Bloomberg)
Is This The End? Draghi Fires His Bazooka And Markets Turn Away In Disgust
ECB chair Mario Draghi delivered big-time this morning by announcing lower interest rates and a new round of debt monetization. Historically, this kind of thing has sent the financial markets into Pavlovian ecstasy, with stocks soaring and the local currency falling. Sound money people have for years been warning that such New Age monetary policies are poison and that the markets would eventually wise up and react accordingly. Today, finally, that’s what they did. European stocks popped on the news — then dropped... (Dollarcollapse)
What is the Euroland Agora?
Euroland Agora recognizes Eurozone as a fertile ground to initiate the political and democratic integration of Europe. Based on this idea, Euroland Agora aims at contributing to the emergence of a democratic Euroland at the heart of the EU, in an innovating way that builds on modern technologies and addresses the challenge of combining democracy and transnationality... (LEAP)

Are We Entering Into a Long Term Stagnation?
Larry Summers, Clinton’s minister of treasury, has made few friends in life. At that time, he was instrumental in eliminating the Glass Stegall Banking Law, which since 1933 separated the bank’s customer deposits from the financial activities of the Stock Exchange, releasing a flood of money which created the present monster financial system... (IPS News)
Russia-China: The West’s Dual Challenge
The Russian-Chinese relationship has come under greater scrutiny since the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s “deniable intervention” in Ukraine. Commentators have taken on the question of whether Russia and China present a unified, all-encompassing challenge to the West’s domination in international politics and have fiercely debated the prospect and possibility of a fully-fledged Sino-Russian alliance in the not-so-distant future... (The Diplomat)
China Overtakes Germany as Top Russian Oil Consumer
China, which is the world's second oil consumer after the United States, with demand rising to 10.68 million barrels per day in 2015, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The country is the world's top oil importer, its imports reached an all-time high in 2015, standing at 334 million tonnes by the end of the year (6.7 million barrels per day), CNPC figures showed... (Sputnik News)
Time to move ‘beyond trade’ in EU-India ties
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels for the EU-India summit on March 30 is good news. The EU and India have much to discuss. There are hopes that Modi will use the long-delayed meeting — India and the EU have not met for summit level talks for four years — to open a new, more dynamic and more adventurous chapter in EU-India relations... (The Statesman)

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