In 2006, Brazil, Russia, India, and China created the BRIC group, which turned into BRICS after South Africa joined the four nations in 2011.
Director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University points out that “in this context, the emergence and development of BRICS cooperation mechanism can be considered timely”
SHANGHAI, February 11. /TASS/. The West can no longer be the so-called globalization leader, while the emergence of BRICS in this context is timely, a Chinese university professor told TASS on Saturday.
Shen Yi, Director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, said Western countries had encountered inflation and economic problems domestically after going on a consumption spree in the wake of the Cold War. “From a global consumption point of view, this primarily manifests itself in a period where the world is facing problems and challenges, including the spread of COVID-19, economic growth, climate change, etc., and Western countries can no longer offer an efficient public product and are unable to act as the so-called leader and driving force of globalization,” he believes.
“In this context, the emergence and development of BRICS cooperation mechanism can be considered timely,” the expert said as he described the practical cooperation model as mature.
“This can lure other developing markets and the developed world,” Shen argued. According to him, BRICS can make substantial progress and expand in the next decade.
In 2006, Brazil, Russia, India, and China created the BRIC group, which turned into BRICS after South Africa joined the four nations in 2011. This year, South Africa is chairing the group for the third time.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and founding father of modern propaganda, 1928
Since the dawn of civilization, kings, emperors and other men and women of wealth have wanted to rule the world, but none has succeeded. Every empire that arose on the blood of the people it subjected and enslaved – the ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Assyria, the successive Persian and Chinese empires, the Roman empire, the Islamic caliphates, the Ottoman empire, the various European colonial empires and even the communist regime of the Soviet Union – all eventually fell. Even the United States’ global primacy, a logic result of the end of the Cold War, is now being tested by re-emerging superpowers and increasing calls for a more multilateral world order. But these are all well-known attempts at establishing world supremacy. Since the rise of democracy, people – not tyrants – were suddenly said to be in charge. Therefore, if one wanted to obtain or maintain hegemony, one had to find a way to shape world order through hidden means while simultaneously convincing the people the gradual change was of their own making.
PART 1: THE BIRTH OF A SECRET SOCIETY
One man who understood this early on was Cecil Rhodes, an ardent believer in British imperialism and white supremacism who aside from his lucrative career as mining magnate served as prime minister of Cape Colony and co-founded Rhodesia, a colony established by the British South Africa Company eventually named after himself. To this very day, De Beers company, the colonial diamond exploitation company he founded, tries to whitewash Rhodes’ legacy thusly:
He had arrived in South Africa as a sickly young lad of 17, and within a few short years, had achieved wealth and power, and had secured not only South Africa’s pre-eminence in the world diamond business, but his own place of honour in the history of the country. He had played a significant role in changing a poor and backward land into a dynamic and powerful country. Cecil Rhodes prospered in a time where personal acquisition and entrepreneurial enterprise were indistinguishable, but the legacy he left was overwhelming in its generosity to his adopted country. […]
Upon his many bequests, he bestowed the renowned Rhodes Scholarship, which is awarded annually on merit to British Commonwealth, American, German and South African students to study at Oxford University. Cecil John Rhodes chose to be buried facing north, at world’s view in the Matopos hills, the granite hills south of Bulawayo. The fact that he was a man of great vision was once again underlined when he uttered his now legendary last words on his deathbed: ‘So much to do, so little done.’
But this is history told by the victors. As he had fought all of his life with severe illness, Rhodes had always understood that, because there was “so much to do,” he could never do it alone in his short lifespan. Thus, already in 1877, at the age of 23, he privately unveiled his true “great vision” when he drafted the first version of his testament. In it, he proposed nothing less than to establish a secret society with the sole objective of world rule by the British empire:
I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race. […] I look into history and I read the story of the Jesuits; I see what they were able to do in a bad cause and I might say under bad leaders. At present day I become a member of the Masonic order. I see the wealth and power they possess [and] the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies, and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end. The idea gleaming and dancing before ones [sic] eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British empire and the bringing of the entire uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for the making [out of] the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible.
Thanks to Carroll Quigley, an American professor of history specialized in the evolution of civilizations, we now know that Rhodes’ dream became reality in the formation of an immensely powerful and secretive Anglo-American network which, according to Quigley, advanced Rhodes’ desire “to federate the English-speaking peoples and to bring all the habitable portions of the world under their control.” Quigley was no uncredentialled conspiracy theorist. He was a prominent Harvard-educated historian who taught at the Ivy League universities of Georgetown, Princeton and Harvard, in addition to working as an advisor to both the US Department of Defense and the US Navy. In his own words, he knew of the existence and operation of this secret network “because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records.” After publishing Tragedy and Hope, his 1311 pages-strong book on the network’s role in the rise of the Western world, in 1966, however, the secret society members who had approached him were apparently displeased that he published the inner workings of the network, as a result of which the publisher, MacMillan Company, refused to reprint the seminal work when it quickly ran out of stock and prevented Quigley from regaining the publication rights. “Powerful influences in this country,” Quigley concluded in private writing, “want me, or at least my work, suppressed.”
Because of his fascination with secret societies, and because he always remained favourable to the network’s goal despite disagreeing with some of its methods, Quigley was already in 1949 able to write a history of the secret society and its morphing into a truly Anglo-American establishment thanks to testimony of “persons close to the Group” which he juxtaposed to “documentary evidence available to everyone.” Because the architects of this “Group,” according to Quigley, were “satisfied to possess the reality rather than the appearance of power,” they decided to draw their inspiration from similar occult organizations of the past – such as the Illuminati, the Jesuits and the Freemasons – and thus set up a “rings within rings” structure wherein the center ring would control the outer rings. In The Anglo-American establishment, which was only published posthumously in 1981, he wrote:
The plan of organization provided for an inner circle, to be known as ‘The Society of the Elect’, and an outer circle, to be known as ‘The Association of Helpers’. Within the Society of the Elect, the real power was to be exercised by the leader, and a ‘Junta of Three’.
When the society was founded in 1891 after years of planning, Rhodes was to be the leader, and the ‘Junta of Three’ were represented by Wiliam T. Stead, Britain’s most famous journalist; Lord Esher, confident of Queen Victoria and later the most influential advisor of King Edward VII and King George V; and Alfred Milner, a colonial administrator who, although he was relatively unknown to the outside world, became the group’s leader after Rhodes’ death in 1902. A fifth member of “The Society of the Elect” close to the top of the pyramid was Lord Nathanial Rothschild, whose financial wealth had helped Rhodes to monopolise the South African mines of the Kimberley area and whose family’s financial and political power over Europe was likely without parallel in history up to that point. As both Milner and Rhodes graduated from Oxford University, college campuses of this prestigious university became the principal recruiting ground for the secret society. While a few inner core players unquestionably knew that they were members of a group devoted to a common purpose, however, Quigley notes that many might not have been aware of their membership and rose through the ranks of society and advanced the network’s interests unaware of the fact that the inner core influenced their thinking, their career paths and their actions by what he called “personal persuasion, patronage distribution, and social pressure.” In his two books, Quigley meticulously explains who’s who in the inner workings of the group and connects the dots between various overt political formations such as the Rhodes Scholarships, the Round Table Group, the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations. He concludes, however, that the core power always, at least up until the time of his writings, remained in the hands of Milner’s group and his successors. As such, they were able to control both sides of the political isle in Britain:
Until 1890 or so [the secret society] contained members of both political parties, including the leaders, [long-time Conservative Prime Minister] Salisbury and [long-time Liberal Prime Minister] Gladstone. […] After the split in the Liberal Party in 1886, it was the members of the Cecil Bloc who became Unionists – that is, the Lyttletons, the Wyndhams, the Cavendishes. As a result, the Cecil Bloc became increasingly a political force. Gladstone remained socially a member of it, and so did his protégé, John Morley, but almost all the other members of the Bloc were Unionists or Conservatives. The chief exceptions were the four leaders of the Liberal Party after Gladstone, who were strong imperialists: Rosebery, [who was married into the Rothschild family and was one of the trustees of Rhodes’ final will], Asquith, Edward Grey, and Haldane. These four supported the Boer War, grew increasingly anti-German, supported the World War in 1914, and were close to the Milner Group politically, intellectually, and socially.
PART 2: THE RECOVERY OF THE UNITED STATES
Unsatisfied with near absolute control over British political life, the powerful financiers behind the Milner Group remained true to Rhodes’ vision “for the recovery of the United States.” Shortly after Cecil Rhodes died, the Pilgrims Society was formed to provide a platform in which trans-Atlantic elites could meet. In Britain, at least 18 members of the secret network – including Lords Rothschild, Curzon and Esher, Sir Edward Grey and Arthur Balfour – attended Pilgrims dinners, while members of the Rockefeller and Morgan financial dynasties joined them from the American side. While these families of international financiers had long been rivals in banking, oil and industry, they started to understand that they had to cooperate if the enormous power they had amassed was to remain in their few hands upon entering the 20thcentury. While disciples from the House of Rothschild had already saved the J.P. Morgan, Kuhn, Loeb and Company and M.M. Warburg banks from bankruptcy in times of need throughout the 19thcentury, John D. Rockefeller and Baron Alphonse de Rothschild reached a tactical rapprochement after they met at Standard Oil’s New York headquarters in 1892.
This American synarchy of wealth and power, however, was, just like in Britain, heavily under the control of a secret society. Founded in 1833 as the American chapter – or Chapter 322 – of a German order by General William Huntington Russel and Alphonso Taft, Skull & Bones is a notorious secret brotherhood which, to this very day, selects 15 new members from Yale University every single year. Next to nothing was known about Skull & Bones until in the early 1980s the full historical membership roster was anonymously sent to Antony Sutton, an economics professor of British descent who during and after his time as research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute had conducted fascinating research into the role of Wall Street financial moguls in the rise of Hitler, the Soviet Union and FDR’s New Deal – all these strange activities he was now able to link back to Skull & Bones. The core power of this group, similar to Rhodes’ network, lays with about 20 families. The oldest family trees consist of wealthy families that descended from English Puritans that crossed the ocean in the 17thcentury, such as the Whitney, Stimson, Taft, Bundy and Lord families. To maintain and expand their power after the industrial revolution had produced a new class of ultra-rich, these Puritan families then either intermarried with families of fresh financial power, such as the Rockefellers, the Harrimans, The Weyerhaeusers and the Sloanes, or invited their sons into the order. Together, they have since infiltrated the highest echelons of power in American society, such as law, education, business, finance, industry and – of course – government. Of this latter category, the Bush family is the most well-known example. In his 1999 campaign autobiography, President George W. Bush mentioned his membership in passing:
My senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society, so secret I can’t say anything more.
Although other powerful families, such as the Carnegies, Morgans and Fords, were never part of the Order, Bonesmen often ended up at key managing positions at enterprises that were part of these families’ substantial wealth. Thus, it is no surprise that companies associated with the Carnegies, the Morgans and the Rockefellers all made large contributions to Cecil Rhodes’ cause according to Quigley. Following World War I, this synergy of Anglo-American wealth and power culminated in the establishment of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly referred to as the Chatham House, on the British island, and its sister organisation, the Council on Foreign Relations, in the US – the combination of which represented the reincarnation of the hidden Anglo-American establishment in the post-war era.
Carrol Quigley contends that subsequently, “there grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.” This is not an exaggeration, but an understatement, for the penetration of the relatively unknown Council on Foreign Relations into every aspect of American life has not been “deep,” but jaw-dropping. G. Edward Griffin, a senior researcher of the network, explains:
Now why is this important? It is important because the members of the Council on Foreign Relations are the rulers of America. Who are they? Well, once in a while their name pops into the news, but very seldom you get them all together. I am going to take a few moments – this might be boring, but I think for the record everyone needs to be familiar with the prominent names of the members who are part of this outer ring of a secret society.
Let’s start with the presidents of the United States: Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, James Carter, George Bush, Sr. and William [Bill] Clinton. Now JFK once said that he was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, but nowhere can you find him on the membership rolls, so I guess he was a wannabee but did not quite make it in. He actually said he thought he was a member. And of course the presidential candidates John Kerry and Vice-President Dick Cheney are members of the CFR.
Secretaries of States. Now this is a very important position for the group because it is even more important than the president. The president can be controlled, by the secretary of state, secretary of defense and all of his cabinet members, who are pretty much appointed for him. You know, presidents do not appoint their cabinet members from their own private telephone directories. They are not even in their book. They are told who to appoint. Anyway, here are the secretaries of state, perhaps the most important position in the United States government as far as the CFR is concerned: Dean Rusk, Robert Lansing, Frank Kellogg, Henry Stimson, Cordell Hull, E.R. Stettinius, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles, Christian Herter, Dean Rusk, William Rogers, Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, Edmund Muskie, Alexander Haig, George Schulz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Cristopher, William Richardson, Madeline Albright, Colin Powell and, of course, Condoleezza Rice. Did we leave anybody out? I don’t think so.
Secretaries of defense, also important: James Forrestal, George Marshall, Charles Wilson, Neil McElroy, Robert McNamara, Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, James Schlesinger, Harold Brown, Casper Weinberger, Frank Carlucci, Richard [Dick] Cheney, Les Aspin, William Perry, William Cohen and Donald Rumsfeld.
Directors of the CIA, pretty important: Walter [Bedell] Smith, William Colby, Richard Helms, Allen Dulles, John McCone, James Schlesinger, George Bush, Sr., Stansfield Turner, William Casey, William Webster, Robert Gates, James Woolsey, John Deutch, William Studeman, George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden.
Some better-known corporations with CFR members at the board of directors or chief executive levels, where they dominate these huge corporations. It is quite a list, I had to trim this down, believe it or not. Here are just a few: Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, AT&T, Avon Products, Bechtel Construction Group, Boeing Company, Bristol Myers Squib, Chevron, Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, Consolidated Edison of New York, Exxon, Dow Chemical, Dupont Chemical, Eastman Kodak, Enron, Este Lauder, Ford Motors, General Electric, General Foods, Hewlett & Packard, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Straus & Company, Lockheed Aerospace, Lucent Technologies, Mobile Oil, Monsanto, Northrup, Pacific Gas & Electric, Phillips Petroleum, Proctor & Gamble, Quaker Oats, SBC Yahoo, Shell Oil, Smith Kline Beach and Pharmaceuticals, Sprint Corporations, Texaco, Santa Fe Southern Pacific Railroad, Teledyne, TRW, Southern California Edison, Unocal, United Technologies, Verizon Communications, Warner Lambert, Weyerhaeuser and Xerox, to name just a few.
In the media, also very important in controlling the thinking processes of the American people, you find CFR members in the management and operational positions at the Army Times, Associated Press, Association of American Publishers, Barons, Boston Globe, Business Week, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Times Mirror, Random House, WW Norton & Company, Warner Books, American Spectator, Atlantic, Harper’s Farm Journal, Financial World, Insight, Washington Times, Medical Tribune, National Geographic, National Review, New Republic, New Yorker, Newsday, Newsmax, Newsweek, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone, Scientific American, Time Warner, Time, US News & World Report, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, PBS, RCA, the Walt Disney Company and, of course, Rupert Murdoch.
Media personalities, the talking heads, include David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, William Buckley, Peter Jennings, Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Andrea Mitchell, who is the wife of Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System. Of course, Alan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Labour Unions with CFR members in key positions include AFL-CIO, United Steel Workers of America, United Auto Workers, American Federation of Teachers, Brick Layers & Allied Craft, Communication Workers of America, Union of Needle Traders and Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers. All the big ones.
In the tax-exempt foundations and think tanks, the number of CFR members in controlling positions is 443. Some of the better-known are the Sloan and Kettering Foundations, Aspen Institute, Atlantic Council, Bilderberg Group, Brookings Institute, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Foundation, Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Hudson Institute, John and Catherine MacArthur foundation, Melon Foundation, RAND Corporation, Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee, Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Trilateral Commission and the UN Association.
In the universities, the number of CFR members who are, or have been, professors, department chairmen, presidents or board members is 563 – my last count. Could be different today, probably more. In the financial institutions such as banks, the Federal Reserve, stock exchanges and brokerages houses, the number of CFR members in controlling positions is 284. Now ladies and gentlemen, this gives you an idea. We could go into different area’s but bear in mind that the total membership of this group is about 4.000 people. Now, there are a lot of churches in your home town with memberships equal to or larger than that. Wouldn’t it be curious if you were to discover that the members of that one church held all of these positions in society? Wouldn’t you be curious as to what is going one? But first you would have to know about it, and how would you know about it if the channels of communication by which you might be informed by it are also controlled by these same people. You see the magnitude of the problem we face.
For the record, Griffin’s lecture stems from the era of Skull & Bones ambassador George W. Bush, but the CFR’s control over American policy has not waned with Obama or Trump, who both have filled their cabinets with CFR members. Hillary Clinton, wife of CFR member and former President Bill Clinton and two times presidential hopeful herself, made this abundantly clear when she spoke at one of the Council’s events in New York in 2009 during her tenure as Obama’s secretary of state:
I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to I guess the mother ship in New York City, but it is good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.
PART 3: GLOBAL TENTACLES
The Council on Foreign Relations is of course not the sole occupant of the establishment’s outer circle. There are numerous other think tanks and secretive groups that advance the string-pullers’ agenda active around the globe. The Bilderberg Conference, for instance, has been bringing elitists from Europe and North America together every year in near total secret since it was founded in 1954 by, amongst others, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands with the help of Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, the latter two both CFR members and directors of the CIA. The attendees – one by one top officials from European and North American royalty, politics, industry, banking, media and academia – are led to be believe that the meetings are organised on the principal of reaching consensus, but, in reality, just like Cecil Rhodes would have done it, the real power lies within the inner core, the Bilderberg Steering Committee, which selects the invitees and puts up the talking points. Past members of this inner ring include Baron Edmond de Rothschild, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, while current members include such big names as Eric Schmidt, long-time executive chairman of Alphabet, YouTube and Google’s mother company; Pieter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal; and the editors-in-chief of both Bloomberg and the Economist, the latter in which the Rothschild family has held major shares for decades.
While the Bilderbergers aim to strengthen the ties between the US’s and Europe’s elites, the Trilateral Commission made the bridge to Asia. Since its foundation by CFR members David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1973 after the Bilderberg Steering Committee refused to invite Japanese representatives to the conference, it has been organising meetings to foster ties between the leaders of North America, Europe and Asia by, in David Rockefeller’s words, bringing “the best brains in the world to bear on the problems of the future.” Again, these “best brains” are carefully selected into the membership roster, from which only the brightest minds – read: the best patsies – are selected into the Trilateral’s Executive Committee, comprising a membership of no more than 36.
The Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission in their turn are interwoven with a dense global network of financial institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, World Trade Organisation and the Bank for International Settlements; military and political institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the United Nations; think tanks such as the Atlantic Council, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institute, the Project for a New American Century and the Fabian Society; secret societies and conference groups such as Le Cercle, the Club of Rome and Bohemian Grove; tax-exempt foundations such as the Rockefeller, Ford and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations; and a whole range of people in government, media, multinational corporations and other positions of power in society. Of course, not all people involved with all of these organisations or at the high-level government positions mentioned by Griffin are aware of the fact that they are part of the outer circle of a secret society, but that right there is the genius of it. Politicians think they are elected – instead of selected – and leaders in industry, finance, media and academia believe they thrive solely thanks to their own ambitions – not because their thinking might in line with the puppetmasters’ master vision. If these patsies in turn convince the public that they live in a democratic country “for, by and of the people” if they just cast their vote every couple of years and merely obey in the meantime, they have come up with a system infinitely more successful than any would-be tyrant from the pages of history could have only dreamt to ever imagine. The question, then, remains: What kind of world do they intend to shape?
 Quigley, The Anglo-American establishment, 4-5.
 Quigley, The Anglo-American establishment, 3.
 Quigley,The Anglo-American establishment, 3.
 Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor, Hidden history: the secret origins of the First World War (Edinburgh/London: Mainstream Publishing, 2015), EPUB p. 23-50.
 Quigley, The Anglo-American establishment, preface, X.
 Quigley, The Anglo-American establishment, preface, IX.
 Quigley, The Anglo-American establishment, 30.
 Docherty and MacGregor, Hidden history, 479-91; Ron Chernow, Titan: the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (New York: Vintage Books, 1998; reprint, 2004), 247-8.
 Antony Sutton, America’s secret establishment: an introduction tot he order of Skull & Bones (Waterville: TrineDay, 1983; reprint, 2002), part I: “An introduction tot the Order,” available at http://archive.org/details/pdfy-2cmFoB22NG1pZnWL.
 Quigley, Tragedy and hope, 950-2.
 Quigley, Tragedy and hope, 953.
 Valerie Aubourg, “Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg group and the Atlantic institute, 1952-1963,” Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (2003), 93-6.
Bas Spliet is a 22-year-old student Arabic studies at the University of Ghent in Belgium, where he previously obtained his bachelor’s degree in History. His journalistic work can be found at https://scrutinisedminds.com/ and he can be reached at email@example.com.
I try to remain objective on global warming , but we must admit the evidence is starting to build. China is planning a polar silk road. Cape Town is one of millions of cities being stressed by overpopulation and limited natural resources. Perhaps South Africa could exchange its unlimited, but controlled and manipulated, supply of diamonds for ship loads of water?
Average reservoir level in Cape Town, population 4 million, is at 27%, but not all of that is usable
People queue to collect water from a natural spring outlet in the Cape Town suburb of St. James on Jan. 20. Residents are being advised to reduce daily water usage by over 40 per cent to avoid a Day Zero scenario that could happen in the coming weeks. (The Associated Press)
Long lines of South Africans collect water daily from a natural spring pipeline in an upscale suburb of Cape Town, illustrating the harsh impact of a drought that authorities say could force the closure of most taps in the country’s second largest city in just over two months, an occasion ominously known as Day Zero.
The prospect that large sections of South Africa’s showcase city, famously perched near two oceans, might go without running water has induced anxiety as well as resolve among its nearly four million residents. It has attracted scrutiny from scientists and city managers worldwide who also face the dual challenge of ballooning populations and shrinking resources. If it goes dry, Cape Town would become the world’s first major city to do so.
“There are a lot of people who have been in denial and now they suddenly realize this is for real,” said Shirley Curry, who waited to fill a plastic container with spring water from one of several taps outside a South African Breweries facility in the Newlands suburb.
Security guards made sure people took only an allotted amount – 25 litres maximum in one line and 15 litres in another express line. However, things were more freewheeling at a nearby spring water source with no oversight. Mayor Patricia de Lille this month threatened to fine those who use too much water and said the city can no longer ask people to comply: “We must force them.”
The spectacle of people scrounging for water could become more common as Day Zero approaches in Cape Town, whose natural beauty has made it a coveted spot for international visitors. While the city urges people to restrict water usage, many living in poor areas already have limited access to water. They use communal taps in gritty neighbourhoods such as Blue Downs on the Cape Flats, where people washed clothes outside and carried buckets of water to shack dwellings on a recent afternoon.
People collect water from a communal tap at an informal settlement near Cape Town on Tuesday. While the city urges people to restrict water usage, many living in poor areas already have limited access to it. (The Associated Press)
Cape Town’s leaders have instructed residents to use only 50 litres of water daily from Feb. 1, down from the current 87-litre limit. Day Zero is projected to arrive on April 12, but some fear it could come sooner, while others hope it won’t happen if rationing works and rains eventually come.
The African continent is home to lots of unconventional churches and colorful preachers who employ all kinds of outlandish rituals to attract parishioners. In the past we’ve written about ministers spraying congregates with “holy” bug spray, making them drink motor oil or talking to God on the phone. However, Johannesburg’s Gabola Church is apparently the first to choose alcohol as its main theme.
Photo: Lucky Morajane/The Daily Sun
At Gabola, baptisms are performed using the preferred alcoholic drink of parishioners. Alcohol is also consumed during sermons, with bottles of beer, whisky and wine anointed by the church’s founder and resident bishop, Tsietsi Makiti. As crazy a combination as alcohol and God worship may seem, Makiti has a very good reason for relying on it to attract congregates. He claims that the church’s mission is to welcome drinkers who had been rejected by traditional churches, providing a safe space to drink and also worship God.
“This is where those labeled ‘drunkards’ by other churches are welcome,” Makiti told the Daily Sun. “This is a space for people to come together in God’s name without being ashamed of being drinkers. We are only saying this is an environment where one can drink without being judged at all”
Photo: Lucky Morajane/The Daily Sun
A church that not only condones, but actually encourages alcohol consumption, what’s not to like, right? Bishop Tsietsi Makiti founded his church just two months ago, but it already has over 500 members and has baptized over 2000 people, using the booze of their choice. The holy man claims that he has been overwhelmed with invitations to expand Gabola Church all over South Africa.
“If you drink beer, you get baptized in beer. The same goes for those who drink cider and other alcoholic beverages,” Makiti said. “This church also prays for their drinks before they are served. With God in our taverns, we would see crime being reduced and love and respect promoted.”
Photo: Lucky Morajane/The Daily Sun
The congregation at Gabola Church is currently all-male, but its bishop plans to make it more inclusive in the near future.
“Women are also not allowed because we have men who are drinking, and we cannot have instances where some of them start troubling these women. We will allow women at a later stage, once our congregants have been well prepared,” Tsietsi Makiti said.
Photo: Lucky Morajane/The Daily Sun
Minors, on the other hand, have no place at Gabola Church. “Wherever we hold our services, we disallow children from buying alcohol, even if they are sent by their parents; we send them back.” the bishop said.
The church currently meets in Freddy’s Tavern, Orange Farm, in the south part of Johannesburg, from 11 am to 3 pm. The owner of the tavern, Freddy Mathebula, says that ever since Makiti started his alcohol-themed church, things have taken a turn for the better.
“Since the church started, crime has been reduced and we have received a great response from the community,” Mathebula told reporters.
The wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, issued in conjunction with the just wrapped-up annual BRICS summit, shows that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, although facing internal challenges of their own, may be about to step up their collective game, big time.
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
The wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, issued in conjunction with the just wrapped-up annual BRICS summit, shows that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, although facing internal challenges of their own, may be about to step up their collective game, big time.
And they won’t be intimidated/derailed by the crumbling unipolar order.
Xiamen made it clear the BRICS are all-out engaged to “redress North-South development imbalances,” with Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasizing the necessity of a more just international order, echoing President Putin’s calls for a “fair multipolar world,” and “against protectionism and new barriers to global trade.”
Xi, the host at Xiamen, where he was once mayor, went out of his way to stress, “we five countries [should] play a more active part in global governance.”
One of the key planks of what is a concerted geopolitical/geoeconomic drive will start to be implemented via an upcoming BRICS-wide customs union. It’s all about connectivity – in trade, commerce, and finance. And that also dictates investment and business openings rolling in sync, as well as a sharper role for development funds and the BRICS’s own New Development Bank (NDB).
Enter, thus, multiple South-South “dialogues,” like those proposed in Xiamen with Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Guinea, and Tajikistan.
The dialogues, which will inevitably evolve into business and investment deals, are at the core of ‘BRICS Plus’; the overarching concept, proposed last March by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for expanding South-South partnership/cooperation.
What this will mean, in the immediate future, is an even further, complex interpolation of BRICS Plus with the already converging New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
All these economic/political vectors are advancing in sync. The SCO may be essentially focused on security, countering jihadism or even solving border disputes, but it has also been developing the economic cooperation front. India and Pakistan have become SCO full members this year. Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey are observers, and will soon become full members. Egypt and post-war Syria want in. The SCO’s geopolitical reach is fast becoming pan-Eurasian. And that’s reflected, for instance, in the Xiamen Declaration proposing an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and national reconciliation process, “including the Moscow Format of consultations” and the “Heart of Asia-Istanbul process.”
This means, essentially, the BRICS supporting not a surge of Pentagon troops but an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan peace process brokered by the SCO, of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.
And this course of action once again graphically shows how the core of the BRICS is and will continue to be, what I call “RC”: the Russia-China strategic partnership.
It was RC, not by accident, that suggested the only possible solution for the Korean Peninsula stand off, that is “double freezing,” put forward by the Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministry in early July. Pyongyang ceases all missile launches and nuclear tests, Washington/Seoul cease their monster military exercises. Needless to say, the ‘War Party’ in Washington, as well as Trump’s generals, vetoed the idea.
But just as the BRICS wrapped it all up in Xiamen, the action started at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok; once again, all about economic convergence, focusing on Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and crucially, both Koreas.
Enter RC, once again, as peace negotiators, able to practice diplomacy with both Pyongyang and Seoul at an international forum. RC – with Russia in the forefront – solved the Syrian tragedy. While RC has a plan for both Afghanistan and North Korea, the unipolars only have sanctions and bombs.
I have sketched elsewhere other aspects of BRICS, such as the current internal politico-economic tragedy in Brazil, as well as outsiders India-Japan pushing to counteract the BRICS/BRI/SCO convergence via an Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC).
But the holy of the holies – and it’s never enough to stress it – is what I call the Triple Win triad of the future: oil-yuan-gold. This is one of the prime outcomes of a strategy the BRICS have been discussing, behind closed doors, at their summits since the previous decade – when Lula was still Brazil’s president: how to bypass the US dollar.
President Putin has hinted at “the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies” – code for US dollar unipolarity. Beijing now is stepping up the game via a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.
That might as well represent the burial ritual for the US sanctions dementia. It’s a categorical imperative for Eurasia integration to be able to bypass any manifestations of this disease by trading energy in yuan or in their own, local, currencies.
In parallel, something RC, via the Central Bank of Russia and the People’s Bank of China, have been developing all these years – ruble-yuan swaps – will spread out to other BRICS/BRI/SCO members. The concept of trading in their own currencies will reach, of course, all number of aspiring BRICS Plus members.
The late Zbig ‘Grand Chessboard’ Brzezinski Doctrine – preventing, by all means, the emergence of a peer competitor – has long ago been pronounced dead. What we see instead is the emergence not only of a peer competitor, but an alliance of peer competitors (RC), with a geo-economic pull all across the Global South.
More than enough for any unipolar brain to go nuclear.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Development projects in Africa and Latin America will henceforth receive greater attention from the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS bloc financial institutions such as the New Development Bank, NDB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB.
Prof. Chen Fengying, former Director of the Institute of World Economy, under the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, CICIR, made the comment on August 21 in the Chinese capital, Beijing at a press organized by the All-China Journalists’ Association.
Prof. Chen is now a senior research fellow with CICIR. “There are many development banks in the world today, the largest being the World Bank. But the New Development Bank owned by BRICS is the only one with developing countries as its backbone,” Prof.Chen noted. She added that reinforcement of south-south, and south-north cooperation will be addressed at the BRICS leaders’ summit in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen from September 3-5.
“The issue of BRICS development has since gone beyond its member States. The New Development Bank is up and running, moving from abstract to more concrete issues. As an open platform, BRICS Plus concerns Africa and Latin America; thus the influence of BRICS will become more comprehensive,” Chen Fengying stated. She added that in order to broaden the scope of their activities and be sustainable in the long run, NDB and AIIB will extend their services to Africa and Latin America to finance development projects. Meanwhile, Kenya and Thailand have been invited to next month’s BRICS summit.
Responding to a question on plans by BRICS to create a rating agency, Prof. Chen said the chances of its success were slim because current macro international finance is still dominated by the US dollar, while today’s rating system is monopolized by three American institutions. She recalled that China, Europe and Japan have in the past made similar attempts at creating rating agencies, without much success.
Asked if the current border misunderstanding between China and India will be raised at next month’s BRICS summit, Chen Fengying ruled out the possibility, saying leaders will not be distracted by “small issues.” Moreover, China has already stated that issues concerning its sovereignty cannot be compromised. In the same light, she said the policy of BRICS is not to intervene in the internal affairs of member states, adding that the challenges the leaders of South Africa and Brazil now face were transitional.
She attributed their causes to falling commodity prices, and political and economic instability, saying the solution lay in ensuring proper development. “The engagements the leaders of South Africa and Brazil will take at the summit will not be called into question because leaders come and go, but nations remain,” she clarified.
This year’s summit theme is, “BRICS: Stronger partnership for a brighter future.” Focus will be on trade, finance, economy, south-south, and south-north cooperation, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Meetings of BRICS foreign ministers, people-to-people and cultural exchanges will be institutionalized at the summit. It was also disclosed that BRICS members will defend any attempts to introduce trade protection like the recent US measure against China.
Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, a contributor to People’s Daily Online, is Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper in Cameroon. He is currently a China-Africa Press Centre, CAPC fellow.
Zuma wants a “pre-colonial land audit of land use and occupation patterns” to help decide which lands need to be taken, and has said that “We need to accept the reality that those who are in parliament where laws are made, particularly the black parties, should unite because we need a two-thirds majority to effect changes in the constitution.”
It’s believed that Zuma is calling for this radical action in response to the rise of a rival political party known as the Economic Freedom Fighters, who have long called for the confiscation of white owned lands.
Obviously, this kind of talk doesn’t bode well for the future of South Africa. You have the leaders of the first and third most popular political parties, both of which promote socialist ideas, openly declaring that they want the government to steal from an entire racial group. Since these political parties wouldn’t be in power unless they had some degree of popular support, it’s clear that black South Africans are increasingly turning against their white neighbors. It’s a perfect recipe for genocide.It’s conditions like that which have spawned organizations like the Suidlanders; a massive civilian-run civil defense group that is dedicated to protecting Afrikaaners in the event of social collapse or civil war. They’re currently getting ready for the possibility of a government implemented genocide of white South Africans. One of their leaders recently spoke to Infowars, and explained how they plan to respond to that threat.Roche told Infowars that leftist South African leaders have in recent months threatened “the slaughter of all whites, and the removal of all whites within five years,” prompting Suidlanders to prepare for a surprise civil war event which they now believe is imminent.
“Then we would, in such an open civil war, in such a crisis, gather our people together and seek sanctuary in a remote location and then to remove ourselves from being wiped out or slaughtered,” Roche said.
However, the organization doesn’t plan to take up arms, and their best plan so far will only accommodate a minority of whites in the country.“It’s not about taking up arms, it’s about retiring from the threat,” Roche said. “There’s this intractable tension that seems to be building in our country, where the two parties can never be reconciled, and the stronger party is openly declaring that it will remove the weaker party within five years, slaughter them all, take all of their lands.”
Suidlanders has a large-scale evacuation protocol in place in case an ethnic civil war happens, designed to remove roughly 20% of the estimated 4.8 million white South Africans safely from the embattled region.
It’s sad that it has come to this. Once the most wealthy and developed nation on the continent, South Africa is quickly turning into an economic basket case, brimming with racial tensions that could spill over at any time. Once again, socialism and multiculturalism have proven to be total failures.
South Africa’s Western Cape High Court declared that it is unconstitutional to ban the use of dagga (weed) by adults in private homes.
Yesterday, a landmark ruling occurred in South Africa when the Western Cape High Court decided that keeping weed (dagga) illegal is unconstitutional. The decision marks a significant change in the south-African nation, as cannabis has essentially been legalized for private use.
Until March 31, 2017, the herb was illegal to grow, own or use under the “Criminal Prohibition of Dagga Act.” The Court deemed the prohibition to be unfair, outdated and discriminatory, however and said that the law disproportionately targeted people of color.
As a result, it is now legal for people to possess and use cannabis in their homes, as well as grown their own plants. Lawmakers now have 24 months to update the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act to reflect the recent ruling which is being celebrated by cannabis activists around the world.
News24reports that the successful application to decriminalize marijuana was largely driven by Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince. Both argued on December 13 and 14 of 2016 to decriminalize the herb.
After the ruling, Prince commented:
“What this means is that South Africans can use cannabis in their homes. At least the police can focus their attention on serious and hard crime and stop wasting valuable resources, time, and effort on pursuing people for cannabis.”
Credit: Grocott’s Mail
Reportedly, an individual could still be arrested for smoking weed. However, they are now able to evade all charges by citing their right to privacy. In summary, the herb is not yet 100% legal and won’t be until Parliament finalizes its legislation, but those who toke in South Africa will no longer have to worry about being arrested or prosecuted for using weed in the privacy of their own homes.
The word resonated loud and clear from South Africa. Hendrik Verwoerd, widely described as a key architect of apartheid, was the far-right National Party’s propagandist, political strategist and, ultimately, party leader. In 1961, as South African Prime Minister, he noted that Israel was built on land taken ‘from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years.’ The point was to express his approval and to highlight Zionism’s common cause with the Afrikaner pioneers: ‘In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.’
Verwoerd was able to make this diagnosis without needing to live to see the brutality of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza after 1967. Israel’s apartheid foundations were laid in its dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948. They were reinforced by the immediate erection of colonial constitutional structures that cemented the exclusion of the colonised.
Since then, Israeli law and policy has only deepened the state apparatus of separation and segregation, discrimination and domination. Over the years, countless activists, authors and artists, as well as leading anti-apartheid figures from South Africa, have referred to Israel’s particular brand of structural discrimination as akin to apartheid. In the last decade, international lawyers have also begun to do likewise, but with reference to the definition of apartheid under international law rather than by analogy to southern Africa.
This week, a report commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has concluded that ‘Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole’. According to the report, the Israeli regime governing Palestinians is a racial regime of institutionalised domination – the essence of the international legal definition of apartheid. The maintenance of Israel’s exclusionary constitutional character as the state of the Jewish people has entailed a “strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people”. It has involved expulsion of Palestinian refugees into exile, discrimination against Palestinians inside Israel as second-class citizens, oppression of Palestinians under occupation; all through a concerted array of law, policy and practice that forges ‘a comprehensive policy of apartheid’.
This finding breaks new ground in the context of UN analysis on Israel/Palestine. Specialised UN bodies – such as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Palestine – have in recent years categorised Israeli law and policy in terms of racial segregation and apartheid. This framing has been geographically limited to the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, however – as distinct from inside Israel itself, or Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian people writ large.
This was a somewhat necessary distinction, given the UN practice of analysing the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel as two separate territories under international law. But it was also in certain respects an artificial distinction. Much of what renders the situation in the occupied territory as apartheid is the separate and preferential legal system applied to Israeli settlers – a hierarchical legalism which is central to the constitution of Israel itself. Laws on citizenship, residency and family unification, as well as land, planning and housing rights, apply inside Israel to benefit Jewish-Israeli citizens over Palestinians. Those laws are then channeled into the West Bank to further stratify the population there. Colonisers living in the settlements are endowed with legal status and privilege that is denied to the Palestinian population of the same territory.
There are of course differences in the modalities of Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians – depending on whether they are inside Israel, in occupied territory, or in exile. The crucial point that the UN report highlights, however, is that this is nonetheless best viewed as a single overarching institutional regime which discriminates against the Palestinian people as a whole.
For a UN Commission report to state this so clearly, and to theorise Israel as a “racial state”, is significant. A people’s tribunal, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, did arrive at similar conclusions back in 2011. The momentum that this analysis has gathered in official UN settings since then shows the possibilities of an international law from below – one which is not afraid to confront the realities of a state in which increasingly discriminatory legislation has spewed thick and fast from an ascendant far-right.
While the report’s findings do hinge on the legal definition of apartheid, the Commission itself does not have the authority of an international tribunal. The International Court of Justice and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination are among the relevant actors when it comes to determining Israel’s state responsibility for an unlawful apartheid regime. The International Criminal Court enters the fray for determining the criminal responsibility of individual Israeli officials for the perpetration of acts of apartheid, as crimes against humanity. Any adjudications from these and other legal institutions can feed into the UN political organs vested with the capacity to impose sanctions and arms embargoes, as was (eventually) done with apartheid South Africa. In this context, the report offers a potential platform for further developments in the political arena of the UN.
A UN spokesperson has said that ‘the report as it stands does not reflect the view of the Secretary-General’. The report made no claim to represent the views of the UN as a whole. It does, however, reflect the views of a regional UN commission, made up of eighteen member states of North Africa and West Asia. And here it is important to remember that the genesis of the UN sanctions and arms embargo against South Africa flowed up from below and inwards from the periphery, not down from on high or out from the core. The Third World states led the charge against apartheid for many years in the face of Western resistance and support for South Africa. It was 1952 when a group of thirteen Arab and Asian states first succeeded in adding ‘The Question of Race Conflict resulting from the policies of apartheid’ to the UN General Assembly’s agenda. It took another 25 years – after multiple abstentions and vetoes by Britain, France and the US, and a rising global social movement against apartheid – before the Security Council eventually imposed a mandatory arms embargo on South Africa.
In the current conjuncture, the significance of this week’s report extends beyond Israel/Palestine. Verwoerd’s National Party is not the only white supremacist political movement to have seen the attraction of Israel’s constitutional structures. The “alt-right” movement in the US is premised on a white nationalism that incorporates very real antisemitic discourse and intimidation among its multiplicity of racisms. At the same time, it admires Israel’s exclusionary policies. Richard Spencer describes the alt-right project as ‘a sort of white Zionism’ and argues, as Omri Boehm has noted, that Israel’s ethnic-based politics is the basis of a strong, cohesive identity which the alt-right is seeking to emulate in the US.
With the alt-right now maintaining a foothold in the White House, it is imperative to think seriously about the apartheid nature of Israel’s constitutional order and about how to deepen anti-racist alliances and solidarities across borders. The Trump/Bannon travel ban agenda of course finds some parallel in Israel’s own long-standing border policies, and comes at a time when Israel has adopted new legislation purporting to ban boycott adherents. In that context, the ESCWA report’s call for member states and civil society to support and ‘broaden support for boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives’ is another significant political move.
John Reynolds teaches international law at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
At the beginning of the 21st century, leaders from five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and later, South Africa – formed what became known as BRICS. BRICS is the acronym for an association of thee five major emerging national economies.
The fundamental objective of the association is to lead a new course to open up equal economic opportunities for all BRICS countries and those outside. BRICS countries are noted for their fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs. In fact, all five countries are currently G-20 members.
As of 2015, the five BRICS countries represent over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world’s population. All five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10. According to statistics, BRICS countries have a combined nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $16.6 trillion, equivalent to approximately 22% of the gross world product, as well as Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of around $37 trillion.
Again, the five countries have an estimated $4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. The BRICS economy expanded by 4.6% in 2016, from an estimated growth of 3.9% in 2015. The World Bank expects BRICS growth to pick up to 5.3% in 2017.
BRICS has established what is known as the New Development Bank (NDB). The NDB would primarily focus on lending infrastructure projects. The bank has a lending capacity of up to $34 billion annually.
With these seemly good provisions made by the BRICS, many countries have expressed a strong interest in joining the new emerging economic bloc. Countries such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Bangladesh and Greece have all expressed interest in joining BRICS.
To put this new emerging economic bloc in context, it is primarily established to challenge the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – which have been ripping off developing countries’ wealth. These two financial institutions were set up primarily by Western leaders after the Second World War to help rebuild new independent nations and others affected by the war, which have been monopolized by the West.
Especially for the IMF, no single developing country has benefited from the institution. In fact, if a country facing financial difficulties turns to the IMF for help, the country ends up with more burden than what they initially sought help for. Many developing countries thus, have had to re-strategize their financial alliances. Particularly in Africa, many countries are now turning to China (and nations in the Persian Gulf) for financial assistance and bilateral agreements. As a result, Chinese investment is fast growing in Africa.
To make matters worse for the West, many of its financial powerhouses such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Switzerland among others, are in decline.
According to a latest report by the professional services giant PwC, by 2050, China and India will likely overtake the United States as the world’s most powerful economies. The report contains a ranking of the first 32 countries that would be economically powerful by 2050. BRICS countries, and those who want to join the bloc, dominate the list.
The report revealed that China would be the world’s most powerful country, followed by India. It said the world’s economic arrangement would change drastically during the period, as the financial monopoly enjoyed by the West for some centuries, would now be broken.
Apart from China and India surpassing the United States, many of the world’s current powerhouse economies – like Japan and Germany – would slip down the global rankings, to be replaced by countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico, which are currently emerging markets.
Below is the full list of how the world’s economic order would be in 2050.
BBC3 Documentary on Poor Whites in SA Saddens and Shocks South African Expats
Feb 21 2014 – South African expats in the UK reacted with sadness and shock (and even some anger) after watching a BBC 3 documentary last night about poor white people in Pretoria, South Africa.
The 55-minute doc was the first in a three-part series – entitled “Reggie Yates’ Extreme South Africa” – in which presenter Reggie Yates gets “up close and personal” with three different communities in South Africa. He lives with each community for a week in an effort to discover “the extremes of this misunderstood country in the 21st Century”.
In last night’s episode Reggie explores the largest white squatter camp, Coronation Park. It is one of 80 parks in and around Pretoria that’s inhabited by homeless white and black people. Some parks have filthy shared toilets and black and stained baths. Most are the domain of drug dealers. Coronation Park has no running water.
Some of the white people interviewed have a philosophical view about their lives, saying that the black people once had it bad and so now it is their turn to have the “spoils”.
One white woman said one must “forgive and forget” and move on, and became quite angry when the interviewer argued that one shouldn’t forget because then you can’t fix the mistakes.
At one point during the filming, loud music can be heard on the other side of the dam from the “rich people”. Reggie decides to go over and find out what these rich people think about Coronation Park, and is surprised to discover that they are all black; and they in turn cannot believe that white people had been living in Coronation Park for over eight years. They hadn’t realised this themselves (so imagine the shock for some expats who have been out of the country for years!).
Expat Gavin McLeod commented on SAPeople’s Facebook page that “maybe the host should have done a little more research first…and…not pushed his own opinion so much…he was there as an investigative journalist not to spark anger with his own opinion…let’s hope the next episode is based less on the race card…”
Many agreed with him. Loulou C said “I don’t feel Reggie was the right person to present this programme, his knowledge was limited. That awful situation is everywhere in the world, and I feel sorry that South Africa is so labelled. I so hope Mandela’s values are taken forward.”
Others were more impressed. Vanessa C said “I knew there were poor South Africans but I didn’t realise there were communities like that. A real eye opener and Reggie Yates did a fantastic job.”
Glynis L agreed, saying “I didn’t know that this area existed!! I thought [the programme] was well balanced too. P.S Julius is a real box (doos)!” (Malema is seen singing his rendition of Kill the Boers.)
A few days ago in faraway Goa, India, the leaders of the BRICS countries took another step towards reforming world order. Despite the claims of Western and even some Russian media and experts that BRICS is facing a crisis and that the organization is no longer needed even by its own members, it has suddenly become clear that this union, consolidating the largest developing economy on the plant, is fully capable.
If we call things by their names, then it must be recognized that BRICS is more alive than all the living and will visit the funerals of those who are claiming that it is dead.
I want to draw your attention to one fact that has caused a very painful sensation in the US, specifically in the State Department and CIA. If you recall, they recently made titanic efforts to organize the impeachment of now already ex-Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The operation was long, dirty, and American ears stuck out from behind the scenes so much that in the end it became indecent. After power was sized by the Americans’ protege, Michel Temer, many expected that the end of BRICS was on its way. In practice, it turns out that the Americans were blatantly cheated.
Temer arrived in Goa with a whole cohort of Brazilian businessmen and stated that he welcomes needed investments in the country. There was not a word about leaving BRICS or the collapse of BRICS. All conversations were only about money.
The Americans should be offended. It turns out that Brazil did not find its Poroshenko. This is a striking failure of US foreign policy.
In this context, practically unnoticed went the news that the New Development Bank (BRICS Bank) created by joint efforts will already, starting next year, begin to invest in specific infrastructural projects, including in Russia, and will likely start issuing bonds in the BRICS’ countries currencies, including rubles. Thus, the domination of the global financial system by the IMF and World Bank is coming to an end right before our very eyes.
The icing on the cake is the statement of the leaders of the BRICS countries that the organization should play a greater role in influencing the international agenda. This was especially brightly and firmly expressed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Let me translate his statement from diplomatic language into simple English: influencing the global agenda is a zero-sum game. When someone influences more, then the rest influence less. And it is the US , which has caught everyone up in its influence, that should influence less.
The efforts of American (and some European) diplomats taken to protect terrorists and American military specialists held up in Aleppo look frankly grotesque in this context. They are threatening Russia with new sanctions, which Angela Merkel’s entourage has already agreed to and this, apparently, is supposed to scare Vladimir Putin.
The plan didn’t work out. And now it has suddenly become clear that the plan not only didn’t work out, but failed miserably. Look what the leader of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, has said: “Sanctions are being actively discussed in the media, but not at our meetings. Not a single country at any of our meetings has proposed this.” Uh oh!
Is this what happens when they want to take us on a bluff? The Americans led a psychological and information attack in the media against us, but now it turns out that, in fact, no one even proposed new sanctions. This is not only a disgrace, but a sign of desperation.
What can the Americans do to slow down the process of losing global hegemony? They can busy themselves with disinformation campaigns with the help of controlled media. And they are doing this. They can also busy themselves with diplomatic trolling. And they’re doing this. They can impose sanctions. And they are doing this. And, unfortunately, they also have the opportunity to busy themselves with terrorism via proxies. And they have also started doing this.
I believe that Motorola was the victim of the geopolitical ambitions of our overseas opponents. I’ll emphasize that this assessment does not depend on who exactly planted the explosive or to what group the killers belonged or what nationality they are. No matter what, this crime traces back to the US. This crime must be responded to calmly, cleverly, asymmetrically, and, of course, without claiming responsibility.
The hysteria of the American hawks once again shows that Russia’s calm and consistent tactic yields the best results. There’s no need to change it. This tactic must continue to be used to gradually squeeze the Americans, while paying special attention to those points on the globe where the most pain can be done.
Losing Aleppo is an entirely tangible disaster for the Americans. For us, I’ll repeat, there is only one option: to continue slowly and steadily to put pressure everywhere. And he who will endure to the end will be the winner in this geopolitical conflict. The cracks in the foundation of American hegemony are already visible to the naked eye, and American hysteria is already deafeningly loud.
It is already impossible to stop the creation of a multipolar world.
Comment: We suspect Motorola’s assassination was done as part of an effort to ‘rekindle the flames’ in eastern Ukraine/DPR in some pathetic effort to draw Russia’s attention away from cleaning up America’s mess in Syria.
“Unequal Scenes” gives a bird’s eye view on the lines of inequality so clearly drawn in South Africa.
Credit: Johnny Miller
Never before has the division between rich and poor been so easy to grasp. Activists can thank South African artist Johnny Miller, who captured the following photos with a drone to illuminate the vast difference between living conditions among the classes.
The project, titled “Unequal Scenes,” began as a Facebook post that eventually went viral, reports PetaPixel. After the photo of the Masiphumelele community and its surroundings in the Republic of South Africa was shared more than 1,000 times, Miller knew he was on to something. He went on to capture many other, similar photographs and videos across South Africa.
“Discrepancies in how people live are sometimes hard to see from the ground. The beauty of being able to fly is to see things from a new perspective – to see things as they really are,” writes Miller. “Looking straight down from a height of several hundred meters, incredible scenes of inequality emerge.”
The crisp images clearly show physical divides between ultra-rich neighborhoods and downtrodden shacks. Sometimes the divides are wetlands, other times rich and poor are separated by an electric fence.
According to the artist, some of the communities were “designed with separation in mind,” while others grew “more or less organically.” The division is what remains of Apartheid policies which were enforced by law 22 years ago. Change may have taken place since then but in reality,
“many of these barriers, and the inequalities they have engendered, still exist.”
Following are some eye-opening photos from the collection:
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Anti-apartheid activist and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, has nominated imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouthi, for a Nobel Peace Prize. The first black Archbishop of Cape Town, himself a living symbol of a liberation struggle, was also awarded the prestigious prize in 1984 for his opposition to South Africa’s brutal racist regime.
On Wednesday, he took to his official Twitter account to make the announcement: “I have nominated imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi for #NobelPeacePrize 2017. For peace and justice,” he wrote.
Barghouthi is widely respected among Palestinians. Arrested in 2002 during the Second Intifada, the senior Fatah official is one of a large number of elected representatives imprisoned by Israel, in what the Archbishop has called “a blatant attack against the Palestinian nation, democracy and rights.”
The phrase, “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist,” has never been clearer than in Barghouthi’s nomination for the peace prize, as Israel continues to refer to him and the rest of the Palestinian political prisoners as terrorists. But human rights activist Tutu disagrees, and after witnessing the systematic humiliation of Palestinians, previously compared Israel’s treatment of them to the South African regime.
“Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government,” he said.
In a dire reflection of the imprisonment of a nation and the negation of its rights, 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israeli jails. Archbishop Tutu claims the freedom of the prisoners is a prerequisite for the freedom of the Palestinian people.
Laying out his reasons for nominating “Palestine’s Mandela,” Barghouthi, for a Nobel Peace Prize, he added:
“I call on the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to seize this occasion to bring attention back to the question of Palestine and to the calls for a just and lasting peace, a prospect Marwan Barghouti continues advocating for despite years of imprisonment and isolation.”
Opposition politician promises no compensation and pledges to nationalise banks if his EFF party wins local polls.The leader of South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has launched his party’s campaign for the upcoming local elections, promising to rescue citizens from poverty, unemployment and corrupt government.Around 40,000 people turned up at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday displaying massive support for fiery EFF leader Julius Malema’s promises to seize white-owned land without compensation and nationalise the banks.
The huge turnout was a shot across the bows of the ANC, which failed to fill a similar stadium during the launch of its own manifesto in the coastal city of East London two weeks ago.
“We are not chasing the whites away. We are saying you have too much land. We want you here in South Africa, but 80 percent of the land belongs to us,” Malema told the crowd.
The white minority still holds the vast majority of farmland as well as a disproportionate share of the country’s wealth.
The EFF is capitalising on black discontent over the perceived lack of change under the ANC government since the end of apartheid 22 years ago.
Malema, clad in the EFF’s signature red overalls and beret, made many promises from free land, water and electricity for the poor to flushing toilets in all homes as he campaigned ahead of municipal elections in August.
“We want black communities to be like white communities,” he told the enthusiastic crowd.
The ANC, which has ruled since its iconic leader Nelson Mandela took power in 1994, showed in 2014 national elections that it still had overwhelming support.
However, it has been hard hit by a series of scandals involving President Jacob Zuma and some commentators predict it could lose a couple of major municipalities in the upcoming vote.
The EFF was founded 2013 by Malema after he was thrown out as the leader of the ANC’s youth wing.
In national elections less than a year later it won more than a million votes, taking 25 seats in parliament and becoming the third largest party behind the centrist Democratic Alliance, which holds 89 seats.
This will be the first time the EFF has contested local elections, where issues such as housing, service delivery, poverty and unemployment rank high on voters’ lists of complaints.
The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved its first package of loans worth some $811 million. The four projects in Brazil, China, South Africa and India are all in the renewal energy development sphere.
The decision to approve the first loans, which are to be handed out in tranches, was approved by the NDB at the board of governors on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC, RIA reported.
The NDB decided to provide $300 million to Brazil, $81 million to China, $250 million to India and $180 million to South Africa. The bank estimates that the renewable energy field projects with a combined capacity of 2.37MW together can help reduce the amount of harmful emissions by 4 million tons annually.
“There are many more new projects in the pipeline including projects from Russia. They are at various stages of consideration or appraisal,” the NDB spokesperson said.
The ministers also discussed creating a credit rating agency of their own to tackle the western dominance in this sphere.
“Deliberations were held on efficacy of establishment of New Development Bank Institute and BRICS rating agency,” an Indian media release said. “It was decided that a technical working group would examine the issues in detail.”
The New Development Bank created by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa started its operations in July, 2015, with initial authorized capital of $100 billion. The goals of the bank, headquartered in Shanghai, is to fund infrastructure projects in emerging economies for sustainable development.
Four American cities are among the 50 with highest murder rates in 2015, a new study revealed. St. Louis, with 188 homicides per 317,000 residents is the highest among them, made it to the 15th place on the list.
The study conducted by the Mexico-based group Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice focused on cities with population of at least 300,000. Excluded from the survey were the cities with no reliable crime statistic available as well as those in war zones.
America is the only developed nation on the list. Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans, all of which have systematic violence problems, made the grade. Baltimore in 2015 attracted nationwide attention during the mass riots in April, triggered by the death of black man Freddie Gray in police custody. His death was one of 434 homicides that happened in the city of 624,000 residents in 2015.
The world’s most violent city last year was the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, the study said. An astounding 3,946 people died violently there, or 119.87 people per 100,000 inhabitants. Cape Town, South Africa, had the second-highest number of homicides – 2,451 – but was placed ninth in the list because with its population of 3,740,000 the number corresponds to a death rate of 65.52, less than San Pedro Sula in Honduras, San Salvador in El Salvador, and five Mexican cities, including Acapulco.
Brazilian cities feature most often on the list, but Venezuela has a higher level of urban violence in general, the study said, attributing this to the deteriorating economic situation in the country. Overall Latin America accounts for an overwhelming majority of the cities on the list, with Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala all featuring. Gang wars, drug violence and corruption contribute to the high murder rates, the study said.
Only nine cities are from other parts of the world – the four in the US, four in South Africa and Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.
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