according to kUZE rEN

In the Cold War when the Soviet Union and US were locked in Global competition international relations were like steering a ship along the narrow Suez Canal. In the nineties, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was like navigating the English Channel - water on all sides but with land visible. Now it's like being on the high seas - water everywhere and no land to steer by!

Two of the biggest threats to international security in 2013 are Iran getting a nuclear weapon and Iran being bombed to stop it getting that nuclear weapon. Both would precipitate a long and dangerous conflict in the already unstable Middle East. Both would be a disaster!
There is a way through however - to allow Iran to exercise it's rights under international treaties to enrich uranium for peaceful energy-generating purposes BUT ONLY IF it agrees to inspection arrangements that allow the world to be convinced that there is no Military dimension to their programme.

There are 9,000 British soldiers still in duty in the continuing war in Afghanistan. But it is as of large the "forgotten war" with media and public attention shifting to the killing fields of Syria. There is no end in sight as the fighting escalates. Much like in Egypt and Libya, brave Syrians are demanding Freedom and regional powers are supplying arms to the rebels. But as stated the big risk to British lives lies still in Afghanistan. Our troops and Aid workers have made a big contribution there, whether you support them or not. The official withdrawal of troops is set for 2014 but for true stability to reach the region there needs to be some kind of Political settlement even including talks with the Taliban.

The biggest novelty of 2013 will be new leadership in China. Very little is known of the views of the new leaders who will rule the country for 10 years. BUT we do know they are the first generation of Chinese leaders, mainly educated in the US, who have spent the majority of their lives in a China "opening up" to the rest of the world. Before only 3 or so Western films and music albums were allowed release a year, while now the country has more billionaires than ever before - communism is nearly a foot note.

It seems likely the nu leaders know there is no escape from global engagement. It remains to be seen how much further they will open up their society and economy. In the mean time we in the UK need to be continuing to show how we are serious about solving problems together - from managing the global economy to tackling climate change and turning to renewable energy.

Of course the Uk's economy and environmental foot print are smaller than those of the Chinese but one reason they've taken us serious so far on the subject of reducing carbon emissions is that we have been fulfilling our side of the bargain. Don't believe those who say just because we can't save the planet on our own we should abandon wind farms and nuclear programmes that can get us all off coal.

The biggest opportunity in 2013 is in Africa. It has seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world! In Nigeria alone there are 100 million people with mobile phones. In total there are 300 million African's - five times the population of England - who are classed as Middle Class. The potential to help more people out of poverty, develop new markets for the world and contribute to global problem solving is immense. The Chinese realise this! Their development spend is bigger than even that of the infamous World Bank and they are present in every country with a development programme. We - the UK - need to support African development and I also think fully developed countries should be helping them set up green power grids and infrastructures - the country is ideal for Solar Towers and Vertical Farms in it's urban areas.

The biggest economic risk this year is still the on-going Euro Crisis. Resolving it requires some bold decisions. That means more effort by richer countries to support the poorer - that's the price of a Euro that is competitive against major currencies across the globe. We shouldn't be afraid of more central authority to run the euro. It's governance arrangements won't affect us. But we should watch out - IF the Euro does stabilise then international markets are going to start asking hard questions about the UK's economic management!


The good news story of 2013 is the recovery if old ally the good ol' US of A. It is a very lucky country. Just when you think the price of oil is too high sustain their standard of living, shale gas promises an energy boom! We're not just talking cheaper prices, suddenly the US is set to become the world's largest energy exporter.
But it's not just good luck. America has also had leaders ready to defy conventional wisdom. That is what President Obama has done in rejecting austerity economies. He now looks set to reap the dividend. Having inherited a crash he's now on the verge of sustained economic growth. His Government kept the economy growing when the private sector lacked confidence to invest, and now as business get their mojo back he's pushing for a deal to settle government finances. As long as the Republicans in Congress don't trip him up, he's set the standard of "how to help your economy recover!"

This July some of the biggest oil companies in the world like the USA's Exxon Mobil and Russia's Gazprom will be heading to the Arctic to drill for oil and Green Peace is doing everything they can to stop them. Primarily they're trying to raise £80,000 by 30th April so they can build, equip and deploy a Pod in time to occupy oil rigs, ships and ports in the Arctic this summer. The Action Pod is essential equipment when working in hostile conditions. Last year Gazprom staff used metal projectiles, water cannons and fire hoses to stop them taking action. The Pod will provide protection for their activists to ensure they can prevent drilling for longer periods this year.
You should remember apart from destroying the Arctic and the creatures who live in it's ecosystem drilling there is also producing a lot more oil at a time when the world really needs to embrace clean energy. We're talking flood and famine at best and a new ice age at worse and if you want proof you need only look out of your window.

A few days back even the internet was brought to a crawl by "Hacktivists" and "Cyber Criminals". A spamming cyber war between rival websites has slowed some internet and email services around the world.

The battle between an anti-spam website and a web hosting company it blacklisted has seen up to 300 gigabytes of data a second being unleashed across the internet.

Among the sites affected was video- streaming service NetFlix but, with just 50gb of data enough to crash a bank's servers, there were fears the problem could escalate.

The target of the week-long attack is Spamhaus, a non profit organisation based in London and Geneva. It says it is retaliation for blacklisting Dutch company Cyberbunker which is based in a former Nato bunker and offers to host anything online except Terror Sites and Child Porn. So far this attack is widely acknowledged as being the largest of its type so far seen.

A group calling itself the STOPhaus Movement accused Spamhaus of "abusing its influence" as a self appointed censor. Five national cyber-police forces were investigating the attack which it is claimed had enough power to take down Government internet operations.

And now the maniac son of a maniac is acting up. North Korea has said it is entering a "state of war" with South Korea in the latest escalation of rhetoric against its neighbour and the US. A statement promised "stern physical actions" against "any provocative act". North Korea has threatened attacks almost daily after it was sanctioned for a third nuclear test in February. However, few think the North would risk full-blown conflict, and the two sides have technically been at war since 1953 as no peace treaty has been signed. An armistice at the end of the Korean War was never turned into a full treaty.

The North carried out its third nuclear test on 12 February, which led to the imposition of fresh sanctions. The annual US-South Korean military exercises have also taken place, angering Pyongyang further.

Many analysts believe that all-out war with South Korea and its ally the United States would be suicidal for the North, says the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul. How ever despite this North Korea has made multiple threats against both the US and South Korea in recent weeks, including warning of a "pre-emptive nuclear strike" on the US and the scrapping of the Korean War armistice. In truth I think all we can do now is hope and pray things turn out as lightly as this. . .

by kUZE rEN, Digital by Birth!/pages/Digital-By-Birth/118345198237151?fref=ts