Iran is being wooed by German Industrialists. There is a large potential to make money in the country if the world sanctions against it are lifted in early 2016. Since the agreements were signed in July of this year in which Iran agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, there is widespread anticipation of the money to be made as barriers are lifted.
A large group of men from Lower Saxony travelled to Tehran in July to establish friendly trading talks with business people. One group of business hopefuls that was required to skip the trip were representatives from Volkswagen because of their corporate crisis.
The German enterprisers are not alone in their quest for new opportunities. They’ve noticed the presence of French, Croats, Italians and Britons in the capital, all looking to find ways to exploit the potential markets.
While the economy of Iran suffered with the sanctions in place, it was not entirely isolated. Some countries quietly ignored the ban on trade and others – India, S. Korea and China took full advantage of the goods gap to gain a foothold in the markets.
While China observed some of the sanctions, they continued to import oil from that country. In 2011 they were importing an estimated half million barrels per day from Iran. China will likely supply the billions needed to build the proposed Iran/Pakistan natural gas pipeline which will facilitate moving LNG to China’s factories. China has supplied consumer goods to Iran as well as established working relationships in the construction. Supplying military hardware and expertise in cybernetics are two more areas that China is ready to exploit.
While the Chinese are ready to step in to tighten relations with Iran, it is not all smooth going for them. The state controlled Iranian TV has commented on the difficulties and expenses that Iran has incurred in its oil exploitation efforts.
"Chinese firms may have squandered some of the best opportunities during the worst sanction days by not being a friend in need," an unnamed CNPC official was quoted as saying in Beijing Press TV
For its part, Iran seems to be emerging as an important player in the turbulent Middle East. They are supporting the Assad regime in Syria with weapons and troops. They have been invited to join the high level talks in Austria to try to achieve a plan to bring about a political solution to the vicious civil war in Syria.
CNPC – China National Petroleum Corporation
A U.S. P-8A anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft flew over waters off China's Nansha Islands in May, receiving repeated Chinese warnings. Xinhua News
Overflights by US air force planes have also enraged the Chinese government.
Not all bordering the S. China Sea are unhappy with the American transit of naval vessels. Vietnam has maintained an uneasy peace with its large neighbour while periodically breaking out in confrontations over fishing rights. In all, seven countries have claims of parts of the Sea.
It isn’t just the fishing rights that are important. Many maritime resources are exploited to feed the growing number of people in SE Asia and the Philippines. In addition, there is good evidence that abundant petroleum existed under the relatively shallow sea. The small kingdom of Brunei depends almost entirely on oil exploitation to run its country.
The importance of the trade routes in the area may ultimately become the most crucial element in the dispute. A lengthy report written in February 2012 titled Geopolitics of the South China Sea by Energy Intelligence predicted the action of an industrialized and increasingly robust China.
Radio Free Asia
Denver, Colorado police arrested ten activists and hauled off the nascent tiny village that they were trying to build. The members of Denver Out Loud were arrested on the grounds of trespassing. The structures they were building were trashed and trucked away.
The site that the activists picked was formerly a low income housing project that had been demolished and latterly the city of Denver had designated it Sustainability Park which for the past few years was home to a community garden.
More recently the city has sold the property to a private developer who is planning to build condos on the site.
The Tiny Homes movement has caught the imagination of people seeking to provide shelters for the homeless. There are eight cities in the US where tiny homes and villages have been constructed with the permission of the local governments. Some cities have changed by-laws and others have relaxed some regulations to allow tiny – less than 200 square foot – dwellings.
Dignity Village in Portland Oregon is an example of the city working with those who are homeless to find a better solution. From hassling illegal camping under freeway overpasses to a settlement built on a paved lot, it shows what can be done if there is a will.
The village was started in 2001 on a former city leaf composting facility. A bus route is nearby. It has its own council and rules must be followed – no alcohol, illegal drugs, no stealing. Residents may stay an indefinite period of time or move on. When the residents of the village stay, they are expected to help with the running of the place, including maintenance.
After 15 years it is still thriving. It is classified as a transitional campground to fit it into Portland’s housing rules. Communal facilities for cooking, refrigeration, sanitary facilities and showers are part of the picture.
ABC News Denver
Meteorologists are trying to figure out how the N. American weather patterns might shape up in the coming months. This fall into winter will see a strong El Nino effect from the warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The predictions are complicated and depend on how the body of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean along the British Columbia/Alaska coasts will interact with the warming influence from the south.
The effect of this weather phenomenon usually lasts through the winter months and dissipates in the spring.
The heating effect of the ocean is particularly pronounced this year. California’s waters are an average four degrees warmer than usual. When there is an El Nino effect California usually sees fierce rain storms. This has happened in some areas already, causing mudslides and highway disruptions.
While the coastal areas of N. America are predicted to have a milder winter than average because of the proximity of the warmer ocean waters, other areas may have colder than usual winter weather. El Nino can affect the jet stream – that circumpolar wind and weather phenomenon that may bring high pressure and Arctic temperatures to the continent.
The Weather Network is predicting a mild start to the winter but the eastern half of the continent will see a sharp drop in temperatures toward the end of the winter.
Predicting a season’s weather is increasingly difficult as the Earth warms.
Warmer ocean temperatures have significant effects on the creatures that live in and on the waters. A few of the changes are:
The Weather Network
Canadians went to the polls on Monday October 19 in a show of dissatisfaction with the ruling Conservative Party of Canada. In a wave that started in Newfoundland, Labrador the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau swept the country to garner a majority of the 338 electoral seats. At the end of the evening they had secured 184 seats, 14 more than needed for a majority government.
The New Democrat Party(NDP) lost seats to the Liberals as well. The new face of the government will see the Conservatives as the loyal opposition with 99 MPs and the NDP holding 44 positions. The Bloc Quebecois lost seats as well and now falls below the number of MPs that constitute a federal party. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, retained her seat but it is the only one now held by them.
The reasons for the Liberal landslide are debatable. Pundits have had a field day expositing on them. In general terms there were many issues. The Conservative Party had taken a sharp veer to the right under the leadership of Stephen Harper. His refusal to answer any unscripted questions from the press set up some hostility.
The economy of Canada currently depends on resource extraction and the price of metals and petroleum has pushed the economy into recession. Others would say the negative tone of the Conservative campaign turned off voters.
The issue of a woman wearing a face veil at a citizenship ceremony failed to play in the Conservative’s favor in many quarters. When it was revealed that all security measures had been taken and that the woman would reveal her visage to another woman and had in fact done so and had obtained the supreme court ruling that she could claim citizenship, many began to wonder what the issue really was.
Perhaps the gaff that struck me as a desperation move on the C’s part was the passing of a bill to disenfranchise citizens if they were convicted of terrorism. An attempt by the PM to explain dividing Canadian citizens into “new” and “old stock” citizens was fodder for many jokes at his expense.
The Liberal Party has a reputation for occupying the centre of the political spectrum. Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau who was PM in the ‘70s. It may be that the younger Trudeau will bring a fresh new approach to the governing of the nation. This morning he greeted commuters in the Montreal subway, thanking them for their support and happily allowing them to take ‘selfies’. We can hope.
The Globe and Mail
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