|China Myths Debunked|
|WE all know the facts: In
1949 when the Communist
Party took over, China had
been mired in civil wars
and dismembered by foreign
aggressions; its people had suffered
widespread famine; average lifeexpectancy
was a mere 41 years.
Today, it is the second largest economy
in the world, a great power with global
influence, and its people live in
increasing prosperity; average life
expectancy has reached 74 years.
But the assessment has to go deeper
than that, for reasons none other than
the apparent discomfort, if not outright
disapproval, Western political
and intellectual elites feel toward the
Communist Party´s leadership. Five
|PETER Oborne, writing in
the conservative Daily
Telegraph, recently suggested
Conservative British Prime
Minister, David Cameron, was not
merely in a mess, he "is in a sewer."
That seems about right. Cameron
lost it over Rupert Murdoch. He
showed staggering lack of judgment
in hiring Andy Coulson, the former
News of the World editor, as his first
director of communications at
Downing Street, a hubristic decision
made against the best advice and
apparently with a dual aim: to show
he was not an old Etonian "toff" and
to get favourable treatment from the
37 percent of the British print media
owned by Murdoch.
He then spent a fair chunk of time
during his first year in office in 26
meetings with various News Corp
honchos, including Rebekah
Brooks, who was...
ElBaradei leads Egyptian presidential hopefuls in poll
CAIRO FORMER UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei is the most popular choice for next Egyptian president, according to an army survey conducted on Facebook, state media reported on Wednesday.
The survey, which was launched a month ago on Facebook, asked members to rate their favourite for the country’s top job, in an exercise criticised as unrepresentative.
ElBaradei got 25 percent of the votes of the 267,000 participants.
He was followed by Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim al- Awa with 17 percent, and Ayman Nur — who heads the liberal al Ghad opposition party— with 13 percent.
The survey was conducted by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) — which took power when former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising in February —without explicitly stating its purpose.
The military council has yet to set the date for presidential elections, but said polls for the country’s leader would be organised after legislative elections in autumn and the drafting of a new constitution.
Its online survey has been criticised for being limited to the Facebook community, which does not reflect dynamics on the ground.
Critics also slammed the army’s choice of candidates, which included Mubarak’s former spy chief Omar Suleiman who was briefly vice president, and Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force commander who headed Mubarak’s last cabinet.
Suleiman came fourth in the online survey, although he has no plans to run for president, according to recent statements he made to the media.
The month-long survey, which ended on Wednesday, comes at a time of political upheaval, culminating this week in a cabinet reshuffle aimed at placating protesters who are furious at the slow pace of reform.
Protesters who first took to the streets to demand Mubarak’s resignation have increasingly directed their anger at the ruling military, accusing it of maintaining its absolute grip on power and using Mubarak-era tactics to stifle dissent.