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Showing posts from November, 2010

Eurozone facing "survival crisis"

BBC Fears have grown that pressure will spread to other weaker eurozone countries The European Union is in a "survival crisis" over the eurozone's debt problems, the EU president has warned. Speaking hours before eurozone ministers meet to address threats to the bloc's economic stability, Herman Van Rompuy said that if the euro failed, so too would the EU. Members such as the Republic of Ireland and Portugal are under fresh scrutiny. Questions have been raised over whether they can manage their debt without help from EU funds. Mr Van Rompuy said he was "very confident" the problems could be overcome. But he added: "We all have to work together in order to survive with the eurozone, because if we don't survive with the eurozone we will not survive with the European Union." Bond auction The Irish Republic has insisted it does not need EU help. But there is intense speculation that both it and Portugal may be forced to use EU bail-out money. Portu

Finish Rabin's Work

By BILL CLINTON November 2010 TODAY marks 15 years since an assassin’s bullet killed my friend, Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister. Since his death, not a week has gone by that I have not missed him. I loved him and his wife, Leah, very much. On the occasion of the anniversary of his death, his yahrzeit, the world would do well to remember the lessons of his life: his vision for freedom, tolerance, cooperation, security and peace is as vital now as it was 15 years ago, when he happily spoke and sang for peace at a huge rally in Tel Aviv just before he was killed. Rabin was utterly without pretense. When David Ben-Gurion sent him as a young man to represent Israel during armistice talks in 1949, he had never before worn a neck tie, so a friend tied it, and showed him how to loosen it so he could preserve the knot for future use. True to form, two weeks before his assassination, he arrived in Washington at a black-tie event without the black tie. We borrowed one for him, and I sti

Apartheid and all that jazz

By David Honigma October 2010 Hugh Masekela began the day in Oslo; he will finish it in Brecon. In transit, making a quick stop in London, he knows precisely what he wants. “I need an espresso,” he growls, his trademark East Rand rasp undiluted by decades travelling the world. “And a cognac.” Next month, Masekela, now 71 and South Africa’s most celebrated living musician, embarks on a UK tour with fellow veterans the Mahotella Queens. They may join him on stage for a closing song. “We just did a tribute to [activist/singer] Miriam Makeba in Toulouse. [Singer/songwriter] Thandiswa Mazwai was also there, and Zohani Mahola, the lead singer of Freshlyground, and Vusi Mahlasela. We all rehearsed with the band I play with. It was a most marvellous night,” he says. Masekela has been playing the trumpet since he was 14. At school in Sofiatown, the doomed black suburb of Johannesburg later bulldozed as a “black spot”, he “saw a movie about a trumpet player” – it was Young Man with a Horn, in wh