Taro Aso apologizes to party fellows, 21 July 2009
Today, I, Taro Aso, decided to dissolve the House of Representatives and seek a popular mandate. [I]mprovident statements I have made caused mistrust among the public and damaged its confidence in politics. […]
This is also with regard to the disunity within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). My shortcomings have created mistrust among the public, and as the President of the party, I should like to extend my most sincere apologies.
Thus were the words amplified by apologetic bows the Japanese prime minister uttered at a press conference 21 July. In my ears they sounded like the admission of failure and I expected Aso to announce his resignation the next minute.
He did not. After a coup withing his own party failed, Aso is staying firm and is propping up the party for the upcoming general elections.
Japanese politics of recent years can be read as a history of apologies. » More
Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but flattery currently is not an attribute of the Netanyahu-Obama relationship.
Do you remember last winter, when Netanyahu imitated Obama’s campaign strategy?
The imitation did not end with the Netanyahu campaign’s copying of the color and design of Obama’s website. The same way the Obama campaign linked Republican presidential candidate John McCain to then president George W Bush, the Netanyahu campaign sought to portray Tzipi Livni as the status quo candidate while portraying Netanyahu as the candidate of change. Last November, Ron Dermer, one of Mr Netanyahu’s top campaign advisers, went as far as to state that “Netanyahu is the real candidate of change for Israel.”
But while Obama actually sought to break with his predecessor’s foreign policy, Netanyahu has so far not given a new direction to Israeli foreign policy.
Obama may have served as a role model of how to conduct a successful election campaign, but that was pretty much it. Netanyahu merely copied the shell of “Obamaism,” but certainly not its content. » More
The temper tantrum Declaration was signed by around 160 publishers and was meant to prompt the European Commission into action, calling on it to improve the “protection of intellectual property on the [i]nternet.”
Some gems from the document:
Numerous providers are using the work of authors, publishers and broadcasters without paying for it. Over the long term, this threatens the production of high-quality content and the existence of independent journalism.
Legislators and governments at the national and international level should protect more effectively the intellectual creation of value by authors, publishers and broadcasters. Unauthorized use of intellectual property must remain prohibited whatever the means of distribution.
Yikes. I didn’t ask permission to cut and paste. Sorry y’all.
Swiss newspaper reports the Triumph story www.tagesanzeiger.ch
On Friday 24 July, lingerie maker Triumph confirmed that it will lay off 3,700 workers in Thailand and the Philippines. Triumph International is headquartered in Switzerland and employs 40,000 people worldwide.
Firing staff is not remarkable, you may think, especially during a global economic downturn. However, if it was not for the Swiss labor union Unia, the Triumph story would probably not have made news at all.
Unia, together with the NGO Berne Declaration (BD), helped to organize protests in Bangkok and Manila. Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Swiss embassies and voiced complaints against Triumph.
Decades after companies started to spread their activities across national borders, trade unions have learned the business of globalization. Unions have fought globalization long enough. It seems that they are now employing its forces.