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President Trump’s insane call to the Governor of Guam!

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo must feel strange and weird after the call from his Commander-In-Chief President Donald Trump. He must be wondering what the hell that is going-on. The White House released this statement expressing their concern for Guam today: “President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo. President Trump reassured Governor Calvo and our fellow Americans on Guam that United States stand ready to ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam, along with the rest of America” (White House, 12.08.2017).

With that sort of statement you would expect the conservation to a bit different, than how it really was. Since the President who is escalating tensions with North Korea and their dictatorship, the militarized leadership of Pyonyang, who has threaten to attack Guam with long-rage missiles. Clearly, the American territory are under siege. So, let’s just take some of the words from Trump talking to Calvo!

Calvo said this: “Mr. President, as the governor of Guam representing the people of Guam, and as an American citizen, I have never felt more safe or more confident with you at the helm. So with all the criticism going on over there, from a guy that’s being targeted, we need a guy like you. So I am thankful and I’m glad you’re holding the helm sir”.

The governor trying to ease the president and give him confidence, even nearly sounding like supporter, but clearly, he is not ready for what the President will say. Since he cannot imagine, this sort of conversation. Since the President clearly like the admiration and thinks the flattering talk is genuine.

Trump said this: “Well, we’re going to do a great job, don’t worry about a thing. They should have had me eight years ago. I wish. Nobody with my thought process. Because that was the last time, but uh, and frankly you could have said that for the last three presidents. But you’re gonna be taken care of. You’ve become – Eddie, I have to tell you, you’ve become extremely famous. All over the world they’re talking about Guam and they’re talking about you”.

I don’t think Governor Calvo is in public office to become famous or wanting the North Korean tension and possible missiles launched from the Korean Peninsula because the rhetoric of Trump. I am sure that Calvo and the local government wants silence and less threats to their lives. They could clearly lived in peace and calm if it wasn’t for the war-talk of President Trump. North Korea is only answering back to the threats of nuclear warfare and annihilation. Surely, the fame isn’t what is at risk for Calvo, that is that the island he reside and where is family lives will be bombed by foreign forces.

Trump continues to say: “So look, governor, I just want to let you know. We’re with you 1000%. You have nothing – you notice he hasn’t spoken recently. He doesn’t talk so much anymore. And we’ll see how it all works out, but you’re not going to have a problem. You don’t – this is between you and I, but you don’t like to talk. You can’t do that. And you can’t do that with people like us. So I just wanted to pay my respects and say you seem like a helluva guy”.

Trump is weird and insane, talk about if and when President Kim Jong-Un talks and such. It is not all Presidents who hugs the media and is obsessed with their own ego’s like Trump. North Koreans are spreading propaganda fitting their works and objectives with clear strategies, not like Trump who does whatever to gain popularity and create deflection crisis. That he says North Korea wont be a problem, says it all, when the North Koreans can actually hit Guam with their missiles and their technology.

I am sure Calvo couldn’t care less about his own state of fame, more about the worry of the missiles coming his way to, the island where he is governing. Clearly, Trump do not understand that part or have the clarity of the efforts and worries the locals would have for a possible air-strike. As the Local Government of Guam, as published warning material for a possible air attack from North Korea. That is how serious the leadership there takes it. Something, the President doesn’t seem to grasp. Because his unique mind doesn’t understand the worry of the people on Guam.

Guam, should not feel safe by this and by the response the American President had. He is ignorant and also clearly in his own state of mind. That doesn’t fit the paradigm and the possible plans of North Korea. North Koreans has an agenda and a plan, Mr. President is just winging-it and hoping it doesn’t fail him. Peace.

U.S. Representative Cicilline letter to Paul Ryan on “If President Donald Trump won’t take nuclear war off the table, Congress must” (11.08.2017)

Opinion: the World does not need War-games on the Korean Peninsula!

The World never needs war, we have enough unsolved conflicts to handle in Iraq, Libya, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and so on. These are all going on right now. We don’t need another conflict, when the grand gentleman and the leadership of the world cannot fix the ones that are going-on. With all the innocent dying and killings going daily.

Therefore, the warmongering between President Donald J. Trump and President Kim Jong-Un. The possible warfare will be devastating. Not only for the Korean Peninsula, but for world in general. This will possible put lives in danger in South Korea, Japan and China. Not only American territories in the Pacific and on the Asian continent. United States playing a dangerous game with the tough tone.

North Koreans aren’t the most predictable pack of republics, third generation of dictatorship and militarism out of proportions. They can clearly damage their neighbors as the camps of production and total control of population can muster painful weapons who has force to hit Seoul, Tokyo and other major cities. This should worry anyone!

President Trump seems to just want to show his balls and be the biggest voice, not within reason or within thinking consequence. Since his army is placed THAAD missiles on South Korean soil, they might have a bigger nuclear submarines at ports in South Korea. Therefore, their forces are close by the North Korean borders.

No-one with a clear mind and spirit want to venture into a nuclear war, no one with a clear mind wants to venture into war. Because of the effects of the war and the possible destruction of lives. The possible hurt and devastation of society. This here will not only inflict possible hurt on North Korea, it most likely hit South Korea, Japan and China. Even other states who will be hit by random bombs and missiles sent to hurt either off them. For all we know Philippines could get a burner who was supposed to hit Guam. Bombs and missiles aren’t always hitting their targets.

Therefore, it is time for diplomacy and talk. Not enrich plutonium and uranium, while hoping the sanity of our leaders are there. It is time for slowing the rhetoric and talk. Discuss and maneuver in within measure. The end-game are so dire, so unnecessary and a conflict that will take decades to revive a possible positive outcome. Not like the Iraqi war the American’s ventured in are solved by now and that is decades after the invasion and killing of President Sadam Hussain. The history does not need to happen again, neither a similar destruction of a republic like the death of Muammar Al-Gaddafi and Libya. The same could happen in North Korea, with effects that would be mirrored in South Korea.

That is not a weird vision, that is most likely. It is time for Trump to play more golf, lay-off Twitter and stop his alarming statements. Actually shut-up and let his foreign officials work on peaceful means. The North Korean leadership will gain leverage and reason for their testing of more sophisticated equipment. Something the world doesn’t need! Peace.

Statement by H.E. Ri Yong Ho, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea) at 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (Manila, Philippines, 7 August 2017)

Revealed: 29th April 2017 Presidential Call – President Trump really begged Duterte to visit the White House!

As the stories has gone, there is time release parts of the phone-call between the world leaders President Rodrigo Duterte and United States President Donald Trump. This one happen on the 29th April 2017. Already some of the parts had been released, but the whole document have been leaked. Therefore, the whole part of the their conversation is possible to reveal. What is the key from this conversation, it is that President Duterte acts an executive and President Trump begs Duterte to visit the Oval Office. And that they are both discussing how to deal with North Korea, which is interesting reading, since you see what sort of weak leader President Trump is.

To prove I have taken the stories from an official document, it was labeled with OAA-919-MASA-2017 and it was from Marshall Louis M. Alferez and the document was dated on the 2nd May 2017. So if you wonder, which document it is, than surely you have to find the whistle-blower. Well, let’s take some key statements between the gentlemen.

On North Korea:

Trump: “What’s your opinion on him, Rodrigo? Are we dealing with someone who are stable or not stable?”

Duterte: “He is not stable, Mr President, as he keeps on smiling when he explodes a rocket. He even has gone against China which is the last country he should rebuke. But it seems from his face – he is laughing always and theres as dangerous toys in his hands which could create so much agony and suffering for all mankind”

Trump: “Well, he got the powder but doesn’t have the delivery system. All his rockets are crashing. That’s the good news. But eventually when he gets that delivery system… What hunk do you have about China? Does China have power over him?”

Duterete: “Yes at the end of the day, the last card, the ace has to be China. It’s only China. He is playing with bombs, his toys and from the looks of it, his mind is not working well and he might just go crazy one moment. China should make a last ditch effort to tell him to lay off. China will play a very important role there”

Trump: “We have a lot of firepower over there. We have two submarines – the best in the world – we have two nuclear submarines – not that we want to use them at all. I’ve never seen anything like they are but we don’t have to use this but could be crazy so we will see what happens”

We can see that Trump has to get involved and doesn’t really listen to the advice, as he has to answer through the submarines of the United States, even as the Philippines President is putting the responsibility of North Korea on the Chinese Authorities. This proves the difference, as Trump doesn’t even really listen, as he even explains of the lacking arms technique the North Koreans have for the moment. So the way it is expressed, you see who is reflected and who just want to shot out of the hip. In this regard it is Trump, who even says it is no issue to use nuclear submarines against the Pyongyang authorities.

On wished visit to the Oval Office:

Trump: “Please call China and tell them we all counting on China. Tell the President – we became friends for two days – he was great. On another subject, I am coming to see you I guess sometimes”

Duterte: “November hopefully, we will be happy to see you”

Trump: “Thank you Mr President. You are a good man. Yes, certainly in November. Welcome and thank you and we will be happy to see you, Rodrigo. I look forward to seeing you. If you want to come to the oval office, I will love to have in you in the oval office. Anytime you want to come. I will be in the Philippines in November, but anytime if you are in the DC or anywhere, come see me in the oval office. Work it out with your staff. Seriously, if you want to come over, just let us know. Just take care of yourself, and we will take care of North Korea. Keep up the good work, you are doing an amazing job. Say hello to people of the Philippines for me”

Duterte: “They know you are calling. It is the last day of the ASEAN Summit and everyone was asking. Sultan Bolkiah just left but I will tell remaining guys here what you told me. We are all peace, there is no secret about that”.

Trump: “Good, you take care of yourself, come see me before November, you are invited anytime”

Duterte: “I will do that Mr. President. Thank you for your concern. God bless you Mr. President”

Trump: “Take care of yourself, Rodrigo. God bless you”.

If you wonder what boggles me here, is the deal-maker and the art-of-the-deal trying to get President Duterte to visit the White House. It is amazing how he was begging Duterte to travel to the White House. He said he was welcome about 5 times in a short span of time. Donald Trump was nearly kneeling in the oval office to get him there, even calling him a good man. Even if he was just passing by Washington DC, he could just pop-by for biscuits and tea. The frankness of the invitation seemed more like beer-buddy, than a conversation between two Presidents.

You know he really does what he can, when he even had to say to Duterte as well, that he has to take care of himself twice. Like a friendly relief. Just like Duterte isn’t a grown man who can tuck his shirt. You would think that President Trump got advice on how to discuss matters and how to be cordial on the phone with world leaders. Instead, Trump sounds like he is trying to hard and not with a serious manner towards a fellow President, as Trump cannot wait to see him in November, which seems to be long time for him. Peace.

Looking into the inflation of 1987 as the Sugar prices are rising in today’s Uganda!

We have had a wonderful collaboration with IMF since 1987. We have managed to control inflation. By controlling inflation, we have succeeded in preserving the people’s earnings” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (State House, 2017).

Well, there been many who has set similarities with the inflation and price shocks of the year 1987. The Republic of Uganda has been through their mess before. The government of Uganda and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) had just taken power in 1986. This was a year after the coup d‘etat, which brought the NRA into power. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had agreements and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which promoted deregulation and less state control of the economy. This was also put forward to settle inflation and the deficit that the state had.

So, because some has put similarities between 1987 and 2017, as the prices has gone from about 3,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2016 and 7,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2017. There is clearly that there was problems in 1987, but whole another level. The Sugar Industry wasn’t established, the economy of Uganda needed export of coffee and this was the sole benefit of foreign currency into the economy.

Inflation in Uganda is running as high as 200 percent, and low prices to farmers serve as a disincentive to agricultural production in a country of rich soil and mild equatorial climate” (…) “At the center of the debate is the issue of devaluation. In its first year in office, the Government revalued the currency from 5,000 to 1,400 shillings to the dollar, saying that the move would make imports cheaper. But exports have become increasingly expensive. Devaluation Debated. Some hard-line nationalists in Government insist that the cost of devaluation would be devastating. The cost of such imports as sugar, cooking oil and soap would increase significantly, they say, making the average Ugandan even worse off than he is now” (Rule, 1987).

In 1987 the Uganda shilling was demonetizated during the currency reform and a currency conversion tax at a rate of 30% was imposed to further reduce excessive liquidity in the economy. There was an immediate drop in average inflation from 360.7% in May to about 200% cent in June. However, with the possible fears of complex and drastic currency reform, the premium shot up, representing essentially a portfolio shift to foreign currency, and possible capital flight, and suppressed inflation. The intended aim of the conversion tax, apart from reducing excessive liquidity, was to lend money raised through this tax to the government. This was to finance the budget deficit over a short period, rather than financing it through printing more money. Nonetheless, inflation shot up again within three months mainly due to renewed monetary financing of increased government expenditure, domestic credit expansion by commercial banks to meet coffee financing requirements and financing of the newly launched rural farmers scheme” (Barungi, P: 10-11, 1997)

Prices for sugar and vegetable oil (both imported goods) increased rapidly in the early part of the year, falling between May and August — replicating the pattern of the premium between the parallel and the official exchange rate. The subsequent fall in sugar prices and stability of cooking oil prices were due to greater official imports. Inflationary pressures on food prices have been aggravated by supply shortages on account of severe transportation problems” (World Bank; P: 36, 1988).

In October 1986, Mulema was replaced by Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who has a medical background Kiyonga has a difficult task. The government’s finances are shaky at best. In an attempt to enable Ugandan citizens to purchase imported consumer goods, the government fixes their prices below world prices. This, of course, puts considerable pressure on the government’s finances: for example, in July 1986 the government imported $4.8 million worth of sugar to sell at subsidized prices” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).

Perspective from Kakensa: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

We can see there was certain aspects, but the sugar industry now is different. The Sugar factories are now real and the business are now in full affect. While, in 1987 the state needed coffee exports to get funding and foreign currency. The sugar was imported and was put on fixed prices. The inflation back then was because of the crashing economy after the bush-war and the effects of it. The Sugar prices now are rising for different reasons. These reasons are the yields of sugar-cane, the hoarding of sugar and the export of surplus sugar. Also, the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. That was not the situation and context in the past.

Still, history is repeating itself, since the NRM, let the prices run as crazy in the past. The price has gone up a 100% in a years time. Which, means the prices who doubled from 3000 to 7000 Uganda Shillings. This is not a stable and the ones who get hurt is the consumer and Ugandan citizens. Peace.

Reference:

Barungi, Barbara Mbire – ‘EXCHANGE RATE POLICY AND INFLATION: THE CASE OF UGANDA’ (March 1997).

Rule, Sheila – ‘UGANDA, AT PEACE, IS FACING ECONOMIC BATTLES’ (28.01.2017) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/28/world/uganda-at-peace-is-facing-economic-battles.html

State House Uganda – ‘President commends Uganda – IMF collaboration since 1987’ (27.01.2017) link: http://statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/01/27/president-commends-uganda-%E2%80%93-imf-collaboration-1987

Warnock, Frank & Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)

World Bank – ‘Report No. 7439-UG: Uganda – Towards Stabilization and Economic Recovery’ (29.09.1988)

A look into the rising Sugar prices in Uganda!

I commissioned a state-of-the-art ethanol distillery at Kakira Sugar Factory in Jinja today (Museveni, 23rd January 2017)

There are various of reasons for the rising prices of Sugar and processed sugar in Uganda. This isn’t the first time or last cycle of inflation on the prices of this common commodity. Sugar is common in Uganda for concept of having in it in the chai or the milk tea. To sweeten the milk and the black tea the Ugandans drink. Therefore, the Ugandans are needing and using lots of it on daily basis. It isn’t a luxurious goods, but a daily usage, for ordinary use. It has become staple and is staple together with matooke, cassava, rice and maize flour. This is all seemed as basic for the Ugandan people. Sugar is something very important. Therefore, the rising prices says something is out balance.

The balance have now been lost a year after the election. The prices of goods and food was also rising in 2011, therefore, the Republic had the Walk 2 Work demonstrations. These was demonstrations against the rising food prices, which also meant the sugar at that time went up. The same is happening now. With also on alternative exception, that the producers are not only creating sugar for consumption anymore, but ethanol and bio-fuel. Therefore, the produce and profits are going to export bio-fuel and other products, instead of the sugar that the consumers in Uganda uses. This also is an explanation for the rising prices, as well the added exports to Kenya, where the producers gain more selling it there. Than in Uganda, take a look!

In April 2017 USMA commented:

Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA) says the increase in sugar prices has been prompted by the increase in cost of production and the deprecating shillings against major currencies. The Association’s Chairperson, Jim Kabeho says sugar millers were forced to announce what he called a paltry 4 percent increase on each 50-kilogram bag on ex-factory price. The increase according to Kabeho saw a 50-kilogram bag of sugar trading at one hundred and eighty five thousand shillings up from one hundred and seventy thousand shillings” (…) “Meanwhile a source at the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives who asked for anonymity says the Ministry suspects that the big players like Kakira could have decided not sell its sugar to the market so as to increase production at the ethanol its ethanol plant. The sources says sugar mills with ethanol plants are finally making money on sugar through on co-generation of power, alcohol and ethanol” (URN, 2017).

In April in Masindi:

Masindi district leaders have risen up against the Masindi district Resident Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma over stopping sugar cane buyers from buying cane from Masindi district. Last week, Nyakahuma launched an operation of impounding trucks of all sugar cane buyers who buy sugar cane from Kinyara sugar limited out growers and over five trucks loaded with cane were impounded by police” (…) “Byaruhanga added that that is a sign indicating that Kinyara sugar Factory has no capacity to crush the available sugar cane adding that since Uganda has a liberalized economy let everyone come and buy the abundant cane available instead of leaving the farmers suffer with the monopoly of Kinyara sugar factory. Amanyire Joshua the former mayor Masindi municipality said that if Kinyara is saying that sugar cane buyers are poachers, Kinyara sugar factory is a smuggler because it is also doing the same. Mary Mujumura the deputy speaker Masindi district blamed Byaruhanga Moses the presidential advisor on political affairs for failing to advise the president on political issues saying that he is not supposed to enter into business matters” (Gucwaki, 2017).

In May 2017:

From last year’s average of Shs 3,000 per kilo of sugar, the price shot to Shs 4,000 early this year and is now hovering over Shs 5,500. A kilo of Kinyara sugar is the cheapest at Shs 5000, while Kakira sugar is selling at 6,000 a kilo. On the shelves, Kakira sugar and Lugazi sugar are scarce compared to Kinyara sugar, which is in plenty. Many dealers have now started hoarding sugar in order to benefit from anticipated price hike in the short term” (URN, 2017).

In May 2017 – Stanbic Statement:

The only category to buck that trend was wholesale & retail, where staff costs rose and employment fell. Average purchasing costs also rose in April, reflecting increased prices for animal feed, food stuffs, raw materials and sugar. Higher cost burdens were passed on to clients, leading to a further increase in output charges” (Stanbic Bank, 2017).

President Museveni praises Kakira Millers:

I would like to thank the Madhvani Group, despite the disappointment by Idi Amin. The family pioneered the production of sugar in Uganda. By 1972 they were producing 70,000 tons but today they have almost tripled the production to 180,000 tons,” he said. The President was today commissioning a state of the art ethanol distillery at Kakira Sugar Limited in Jinja district. The US$36 million facility, which is the largest in the East African Region, will be producing 20 million litres of ethanol annually” (…) “President Museveni pledged to address the issues to regulate the sugar industry but urged the Madhvanis to partner with farmers with large chunks of land for production of sugar-cane, as the cane is not a high value crop. He said people with small land holdings should be left to do intensive farming like the growing of fruits that give high returns. Turning to the issue of prices payable to sugar-cane out-growers, President Museveni advised the buyers and out-growers to sit together and agree on the prices taking into consideration the market prices globally” (Uganda Media Centre, 2017).

Government statement on the 11th May:

Speaking to 256BN on condition of anonymity a government official monitoring the situation said the manufacturers have not increased the factory price, but he conceded that the situation is worrying. “At the factory prices are stable. Why is it that the prices at the retail gate are high. This means that there are some distributors who are using the hiding strategy in order to rob Ugandans. As Government we shall continue monitoring the situation until we come up with the solution” the official said. Affordability of sugar is considered a key barometer of an ordinary person’s well-being and its pricing can take on political dimensions when people cannot have sugar with their tea” (256BusinessNews, 2017).

Putting the price in pespective:

Kakensa Media reported this today: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

This is all proof of a systemic malpractice, where both export, together with lacking yields because of drought and also the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. All of this collected together are reasons for the rising prices of sugar. The sugar price goes up because the use of cane for other things than millers producers sugar for consumption, but for other export products. This is all making sure even as the Republic of Uganda has in the past produces to much, it now doesn’t. Since it elaborately uses the sugarcane for other products.

That has made the Madhvani Group rich and their exports of sugarcane products are clearly selling. Now even their basic milled sugar are sold more expensive on the Ugandan market. There are also proven problems by other millers, who either has to much cane like Kinyara Sugar Factor in Masindi. Which is ironical problem, as the Kakira and Lugazi sugar is empty on the shelves, while the sugarcane hoarding Kinyara are still in the shops. But Kakira which is produced by Madhvani Group, we can now understand, since they have bigger operation and is blessed by the President for their industrial production of ethanol and bio-fuel.

Therefore, the are more reasons than just shopkeepers not getting enough stocks. That the rising prices are not only that there is lacking production. It is the system of export and production. Where the cane isn’t only becoming milled sugar for consumption, but for all the expensive industrial exports like bio-fuel and ethanol. This is all good business, but also bad for consumers and citizens who are accustom with decent prices for their sugar. That is not the fact anymore, as the business and millers has found new profitable ways. So that the surplus sugarcane and also the other gains massive profits. This is all good business for the owners of the sugar-millers and sugar industry. The one who feels the pitch is the consumer and the citizens. Who see scarcity of sugar inside the shops and also the inflation of prices on the sugar. Peace.

Reference:

256BusinessNews – ‘Government to issue statement on sugar’ (11.05.2017) link:http://256businessnews.com/government-to-issue-statement-on-sugar/

Gucwaki, Yosam – ‘MASINDI RDC IN TROUBLE OVER STOPPING SUGAR CANE BUYERS’ (28.04.2017) link: http://mknewslink.com/2017/04/28/masindi-rdc-trouble-stopping-sugar-cane-buyers/

Stanbic Bank Uganda – ‘Ugandan economic growth continues at start of second quarter’ (04.05.2017) link: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/143ca2b8e3d84c79b96aed4885b7337e

URN – ‘Sugar manufacturer’s association explains price hikes’ (14.04.2017) link: https://dispatch.ug/2017/04/14/sugar-manufacturers-association-explains-price-hikes/

URN – ‘Uganda: Sugar Crisis On for Another 2 Years – Manufacturers’ (09.05.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201705100129.html

Uganda Media Centre – ‘President Praises Madhvani Group’ (05.05.2017) link: https://mediacentre.go.ug/news/president-praises-madhvani-group

Opinion: President Duterte isn’t one call away! President Trump: If you want an ally you need to be cordial about it!

Its might be true that the political game of President Rodrigo Duterte is rough, harsh and brutal. That might be true and so, the people should maybe, also study why he acts like he do and why he is still gained massive respect in the Philippines. That the drug-war has been bloody, the new rules on curfew among others has hit hard. Still, the realm is calm and the business has moved-on. As well as his friendship with China, Brunei and other partners in Asia. Therefore, it is not like the Island state has fought or created issues abroad.

On the other hand, you have an erratic and irresponsible figure as Commander-in-Chief in the United States, which does not play any rules or understands any sentences deep enough to grasp the implications to his actions. He bombs in nations without any plans and start covert missions without any forewarning or any get-go from the United Nations or fellow partners on the ground. His sudden approach to bombing an airstrip in Syria, which was open again a few hours later. The bombing in Afghanistan, that might have damaged some installations of ISIS in the mountains, but not gotten rid of them. Then you have the golden pocket of all, the Yemen strike that killed civilians and innocent, while not even determine the consequences and losing lives of American soldiers. Therefore, President Trump has his battles and has his own issues.

Donald Trump has also enforced the ICE, the Police and Department of Justice in the battle on immigration, his executive orders and his acts against fellow human beings is not sincere and humane. It is more degrading certain individuals and then trying to deport them. Even stopping them from entering. So when people call President Duterte all sort of killer and such, President Trump is not much better, they are similar, but have different approach.

That President Duterte is ruthless when it comes to his drug-war that everyone should know by now. The same could you say about the hatred and concern for immigrants and uncertain warfare approach the Trump Administration have. Therefore, that this happen is not something be concerned about:

President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea. They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world. President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit. President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction” (White House, 29.04.2017).

So out of the phone call, President Trump invited him without any protocol or guidelines behind him. Just after a friendly chat, this has happen before, they talked together in December 2016 as well. But then more cordial as you should do with foreign leaders. That being an official invite and not just brief talks.

Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Duterte said he has not made any confirmation due to other commitments” (…) “I’m tied up I cannot make any definite promise…I’m supposed to go to Russia, Israel…” he said” (…) “ Asked for more details on their phone call, Duterte said he expressed Manila and other Southeast Asian leaders’ concerns over tensions between the US and North Korea” (…) “It is the concern of everybody not only us but the ASEAN guys,” Duterte said” (…) “I said Mr. President, you cannot scare Kim Jong Un with firepower,” he said” (Merez, 2017).

So President Duterte didn’t just follow the erratic President Trump, as he shows that he is sovereign himself, also that he has loyalty other places. The Philippines are not only allied with the Americans more, they have also agreements with China and others who helps and develops the Republic without interference. Therefore, for Duterte the United States are less important as the Chinese and others are offering more for less. Especially, knowing that Trump only tries to get fellow leaders who can help him, since he doesn’t know anything about North Korea. If he knew he might have said and done things differently, but Trump doesn’t know better. He wants to take a shortcut and an use Duterte in his short-con.

Certainly, if the United States wants to have the President of the Philippines to visit Washington D.C. they should invite him with due process, he runs a nation as well and isn’t the lap-dog of the USA. That is how they have acted towards the Asian Republic in the past. With President Duterte they have to show some more tact and be more cordial. Certainly, he will not buy into the bullshit of Washington. Which, shows the changing ways of diplomacy is now between Manila and Washington D.C. Peace.

Reference:

Merez, Arianne – ‘Duterte says he has yet to accept Trump invitation’ (01.05.2017) link: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/01/17/duterte-says-he-has-yet-to-accept-trump-invitation

Breaking News: Competition Commission reaches settlement with Citibank N.A. for colluding (20.02.2017)

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Today, the Competition Commission has filed with the Competition Tribunal, a settlement agreement reached with Citibank N.A. for being part of the forex trading cartel.

The Commission found that from at least 2007, Citibank N.A. and its competitors had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar/Rand currency pair. Further, the Commission found that Citibank N.A. and its competitors manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times.

Citibank N.A. will pay an administrative penalty of R69 500 860 (Sixty Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Rands). This figure does not exceed 10% of Citibank N.A.’s annual turnover in the Republic of South Africa. Citibank N.A. undertook to cooperate with the Commission and avail witnesses to assist the prosecution of the other banks that colluded in this matter.

On 15 February 2017, the Competition Commission referred a collusion case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution against Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc., HSBC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse Group; Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Commerzbank AG; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Nomura International Plc., Macquarie Bank Limited, Citibank N.A., ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA), Barclays Capital Inc, Barclays Bank plc (Respondents).

“This settlement was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks,” said the Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele.

Ends.

For more information or for media enquiries, please contact:
Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications
012 394 3493/ 078 048 1213/ SiphoN@compcom.co.za

Black First Land First march to the South African Reserve Bank (19.02.2017)

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Public Protector’s preliminary report found that ABSA illegally benefited from apartheid cash injections from the South African Reserve Bank.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 19, 2017 – On Friday, the Black First Land First (BLF) movement marched to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) (APO.af/JsJaEi) to demand that the institution act on the Public Protector’s preliminary report which found that ABSA illegally benefited from apartheid cash injections from the SARB.

BLF joined the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) recently in a march to ABSA headquarters (APO.af/Y21xVq) to demand that #ABSAmustPay. The Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, found that ABSA should pay R3.2 billion.

BLF said they wanted the SARB to take seriously and act on findings of the CIEX report, which investigated money stolen during the late stages of institutionalised apartheid. The report found that R26 billion could be immediately recoverable.

The aim of the march was to also implore the SARB to punish corrupt banks, ABSA, Standard Bank and Investec, which the Competition Commission found (APO.af/VsZ1A9) had manipulated and fixed the rand/dollar price.

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