Views Digest

October, 2013

  • 27 October

    Over 10% of America’s Largest Companies Dodge Tax

    Among companies listed on the S&P 500, almost one in nine paid an effective tax rate of zero percent — or even lower — over the past year, according to an analysis by USA Today. There are 57 separate companies listed on the index that paid a zero percent rate from the past year. Those companies include both household names like Verizon …

  • 27 October

    Middle East’s Forgotten Conflict

    In the commotion created by the Arab Spring and following disturbances, the focus of international politics moved away from Iraq. The especially brutal civil war in Syria, the coup d’état and subsequent turbulence in Egypt, the tensions in Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen and the elections in Iran, have all diverted international attention away from Iraq. However, Iraq is still located at the …

  • 27 October

    Pakistan’s Changing Relations with Afghanistan

    Recently, the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met US President Barack Obama and discussed certain issues related to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of the notable statements by the Pakistani Prime Minister about Afghanistan, said, “I have assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai that we wish neither to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, nor do we have any favorites.” He also …

  • 26 October

    Agro-Meteorological Early Warnings for Nepal’s Farmers

    The Nepalese government is planning to pilot the country’s first weather warnings for farmers, something it is hoped will stem agricultural losses during the June-August monsoon. Thousands of hectares of arable land are damaged during this period; in 2013 alone an estimated 10,000 hectares were lost to land erosion, floods and water-logging, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MOAD). …

  • 26 October

    Central Asia’s New Silk Road, Paved by China

    Over the past decade, Central Asia has grown from a marginal position in Beijing’s strategic calculus to the top of its diplomatic priorities: China is fast emerging as a vital economic and political player in this strategically located and resource-rich region. In early September Chinese President Xi Jinping visited several Central Asian countries bringing billions in investment — a trip that …

  • 25 October

    Can Investment Crowdfunding Deliver Sustainable Energy?

    When a wind turbine started spinning last year in the historic village of St Briavels on the border of England and Wales, it was a pioneering moment. For the first time, a renewable energy project had been built using the financial innovation known as debt crowdfunding. Ordinary people, many of them local residents, collectively raised £1.4m and now stand to …

  • 24 October

    The Many Faces of Kayani Effect: An Indian View

    Pakistan’s powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has announced that he will retire after a six-year term in office on November 29. While plenty has been written about him in the Pakistani media, the Indian media has failed to assess his tenure, despite knowing that he singularly ran his country’s security policy for India. Most of what …

  • 24 October

    Asia Steaming Towards A Debt Crisis of Its Own

    For the past five years Asia’s leaders have congratulated themselves on their prudence and good judgment in avoiding the credit crisis which struck much of the developed world in 2008. But while they have been busy patting themselves on the back, worrying signs have emerged that several of the region’s main economies – together with a handful of major emerging …

  • 24 October

    Why Saudi Arabia Rejected Seat on UN Security Council?

    Saudi Arabia has grabbed the limelight by refusing its non-permanent membership at the Security Council to protest the U.N.’s inability to do anything against Bashar al-Assad. It has also let its displeasure with the U.S. over Syria and Iran be known and is reportedly on the verge of making a “major shift,” to use the words of the Saudi intelligence chief Prince …

  • 23 October

    Violence Fear Slows Polio Immunization Drive in Nigeria

    Fear and secrecy have cloaked the roll-out of a polio campaign currently underway in northern Nigeria. Vaccinators are concealing their identities, hiding vaccinations under their veils and visiting some areas only with undercover armed guards, following the February murder by Boko Haram of nine polio workers in the northern city of Kano. “The [polio] campaign is done under an atmosphere of fear …