Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Reuters Investigates:

Enter stage left — Brazil’s next president?

Photo

BRAZIL-ELECTION/ROUSSEFFNot every president has a police mugshot, but it's not so surprising in Latin America.

A special report out of Brazil today sheds new light on Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla leader who is likely to be elected the booming country's next president. She spent nearly three years in jail in the early 1970s and was tortured by her military captors. She's come a long way since then.

The product of more than a dozen interviews with Rousseff and her top advisers, the story gives a glimpse of how Rousseff could govern at the helm of a country that, with India, Russia and China, is among the worlds few economic bright spots.

The upshot: while Rousseff is not the leftist-in-waiting that many investors fear, there is legitimate concern that hers could be a status-quo presidency, unable or unwilling to push through major reforms to Brazil's tax, labor or fiscal structure. As a result, there is a risk that Latin America's biggest economy could eventually stagnate under her administration.

Haiti and “the bad dream of newspaper headlines”

Photo

By Tom Brown

MIAMI – Since my return from Haiti, many have asked me what it was like that first week after its devastating earthquake. Here are but a few impressions:

    
ANGER
What were the 9,000 United Nations police and troops already stationed in Haiti supposed to be doing there in the immediate aftermath of the quake? It flattened the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known by the acronym MINUSTAH and killed dozens of U.N. employees, including the mission chief, Hedi Annabi.

China’s Long March into Latin America

Photo

A $16 billion oil deal between China and Venezuela signed this week illustrates Beijing’s growing economic might and political influence in Latin America.

Trade between the region and China has swelled from $10 billion in 2000 to more than $102 billion in 2008.

from MacroScope:

Why the BRICS like Africa

Photo

There is little doubt that the BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- have become big players in Africa. According to Standard Bank of South Africa, BRIC trade with the continent has snowballed from just $16 billion in 2000 to $157 billion last year. That is a 33 percent compounded annual growth rate.

What is behind this? At one level, the BRICs, as they grow, are clearly recognising commercial and strategic opportunities in Africa. But Standard Bank reckons other, more individual, drivers are also at play.

from India Insight:

India, China leaders move to ease new strains in ties

Photo

While Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Russia captured all the attention,  Singh's talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao may turn out to be just as important in easing off renewed pressure on the complex relationship between the world's rising powers.

India said this month it will bolster its defences on the unsettled China border, deploying up to 50,000 troops and its most latest Su-30 fighter aircraft at a base in the northeast.

from MacroScope:

Capitalism, Brazilian-style

Photo

Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva lays out his views  today on how the world will work in the future. It's part of a Financial Times blog on the outlook for capitalism:

 

 

 

"It will reward production and not speculation. The function of the financial sector will be to stimulate productive activity.... International trade will be free of the protectionism that shows dangerous signs of intensifying. The reformed multilateral organisations will operate programmes to support poor and emerging economies with the aim of reducing the imbalances that scar the world today. There will be a new and democratic system of global governance. New energy policies, reform of systems of production and of patterns of consumption will ensure the survival of a planet threatened today by global warming. But, above all, I hope for a world free of the economic dogmas that invaded the thinking of many and were presented as absolute truths."

Best reads of February

Photo

Exotic animals trapped in net of Mexican drug trade - From the live snakes that smugglers stuff with packets of cocaine to the white tigers drug lords keep as exotic pets, rare animals are being increasingly sucked into Mexico’s deadly narcotics trade.

End of an era for the Amazon’s turbulent priests - They avoid taking buses, make sure friends know their schedules, and rarely go out when it’s dark. For the three foreign-born Roman Catholic bishops under death threat in Brazil’s northeastern state of Para, speaking out against social ills that plague this often-lawless area at the Amazon River’s mouth has come at a price.

from MacroScope:

Winners in a trade war

Photo

Trade protectionism -- or at least the threat of it -- has raised it head as the global economy has declined, bringing with it all the historical fears about the Great Depression. Consider the flurry of concern about a "Buy American" clause in one of the U.S. stimulus bills.

It is traditionally assumed that widespread protectionism would most hurt the biggest economies, the United States and Japan. But Barclays Capital analyst David Woo says this is not so and that Russia, Canada, Australia and Sweden are the most vulnerable.

Enter the new farmers

Photo

Wheat field in RomaniaWhat’s with farming these days? The humble, even if slightly romantic vocation, is attracting a new breed of participants as investing in farmland and agriculture becomes the latest fad in the world of investments.
 
With financial markets in tumoil and commodity prices at record highs, traditional financial players such as investment banks and hedge funds, and even sovereign wealth funds of cash-rich emerging economies are increasingly looking at farm land as the next major investment avenue.

The motivations are varied — from pure financial punting to concerns about food security. Underlying all this is the belief that the rapid economic expansion of China and India could add more than a billion people between them to the ranks of consumers of meat and wheat-based products. And then there is the growing demand for land to grow crops for biofuels.

  •