|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...
Afghan attacks cast shadow over security handover
LASHKAR GAH AFGHAN insurgents launched attacks in provincial capitals in the country’s north and south on Wednesday while foreign troops handed over security control in another key city as part of a process designed to display the strength of Afghan forces.
Gunmen attacked a police station in southern Kandahar city and killed its commander during a nine-hour gun battle.
In northern Mazar-i-Sharif — one of seven areas to be handed over to Afghan control this week — a bomb planted on a bicycle killed up to five civilians, including a child, and wounded up to 12, police said.
The attacks in volatile Kandahar and relatively less violent Mazar-i-Sharif were a reminder of the challenges facing the Afghan army and police as they kick off a transition that aims to put them in control of the country by the end of 2014.
“Three policemen were killed and six more wounded when two gunmen attacked police district one,” Abdul Razziq, chief of police in Kandahar province, said after the fighting ended and the two Taliban gunmen were killed.
Soon after the Kandahar attack, Afghan forces took control of security in Lashkar Gah, the capital of neighbouring Helmand province and the most contentious of the areas to be handed over this week.
Mazar-i-Sharif is due to be handed over on Saturday.
Elyas, a resident of Changeer, some 20 km (12 miles) north of Lashkar Gah, said he looked forward to the transition expanding and the departure of foreign troops.
“If someone fires from a house, foreign forces destroy the entire village, they come for investigation during the night ...which has made life for people difficult,” he said.
Speaking after the Lashkar Gah handover ceremony, Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak described Afghanistan taking control of its own security as “a restoration of our honour”.
President Hamid Karzai has long said he wants Afghanistan to provide its own security.
Western nations, tired of the cost of the war in lives and money, are racing to beef up Afghan forces so their troops can return home.
However, worsening violence in recent days has cast a shadow over the start of the transition.