Saturday, 29 April 2017

Dollar pressured ahead of US GDP report

Dollar pressured ahead of US GDP report
The Greenback was vulnerable to heavy losses on Friday, with prices tumbling towards 98.80 as the mixture of soft economic data from the US this week, and rising uncertainty over Trump’s proposed tax reforms weighed on sentiment.

Much attention may be directed towards the pending Q1 2017 US GDP report that is being released later today and is widely expected to display a slowdown in economic momentum as accelerating inflation pressured consumer spending.

With a potential slowdown in first quarter US economic growth this year weighing on expectations of the Fed raising interest rates in June, the Dollar may be at threat of further depreciation. From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is heavily depressed on the daily charts. Persistent weakness below 98.80 could encourage a further decline towards 97.50.

Commodity spotlight – WTI Crude

Oil markets remain entangled in a fierce tug of war, with oversupply concerns and optimism over OPEC stabilizing the saturated markets. Although WTI Crude staged an impressive rebound during early trading on Friday amid a potential OPEC cut extension, the recent reports of Libya’s biggest oil field reopening may compound oversupply fears, consequently capping upside gains.

The live threat of US Shale’s incessant pumping undermining the OPEC production cut extension may expose oil prices to steeper losses. From a technical standpoint, WTI Crude remains bearish on the daily charts with bears potentially exploiting the technical bounce to drag prices lower. Previous support at $50 could transform into a solid resistance that opens a path towards $47.50. In an alternative scenario, a breakdown below $49.00 may open a similar route to $47.50.

Malaysian police arrested Nigerian cook arrested for selling drugs

Nigerian cook arrested in Malaysia for selling drugs
Malaysia Police on Thursday, April 27, said they arrested a Nigerian cook after he was found to be in possession of cannabis worth RM2,000. Serdang police chief assistant commissioner Megat Mohd Aminuddin Megat Alias said the 42-year old Nigerian man was arrested near Pangsapuri Anggerik, Taman Suria in Seri Kembangan, on Saturday, April 22.

His 32-year old girlfriend, who is also a Nigerian, was also picked up by the police in his flat.
Megat said he was found carrying a plastic bag containing 24 small packets of dried leaves, believed to be cannabis. The packets weighed 150 grammes.

"We seized some RM2,000 worth of ganja packed in small packets and sachets.
"We believe the suspect had been operating his drug business near a restaurant where he worked," he said.
Further checks in his flat found another bag containing cannabis, weighing 727.68 gram. Megat said, based on the initial probe, the man had no work permit while his girlfriend is a student in a private college.

"The man had been staying in the country for 10 years. He had entered the country under the pretext of pursuing his studies here. He has only been active in drug trafficking since several months ago," he told a press conference at the police district headquarter on Thursday.

Megat said the man used the restaurant he worked in to sell drugs, with most of the customers comprising foreigners.

The case is investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries a death sentence upon conviction.

Violence erupts in Brazil after general strike

 Violence erupts in Brazil after general strike
Violence has erupted in Brazil at the end of the country's first general strike in more than 20 years.

Buses and cars have been set on fire in Rio de Janeiro's city centre. Road blocks set up by activists were also ablaze and shops were vandalised.

For most of the day the strike had been largely peaceful. Many people stayed at home and shops, schools and banks remained closed across the country.

Unions called the strike in protest at proposed pension reforms.

 Violence erupts in Brazil after general strike
President Michel Temer said he regretted the incidents in Rio. But he stressed that he would continue his "efforts to modernise the country".

Brazilian workers and the government are working together, he said, to get the country out of "the worst recession in its history."

Aliko Dangote rises by $500m, Amazon CEO adds $3.3bn

Some global billionaires are seeing their wealth explode dramatically, and Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote is not left behind.

On Thursday, Jeff Bezos, CEO of the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, saw $3.3 billion added to his wealth, following his company’s impressive performance.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man and president of the Dangote Group, also saw his fortune rise by $500 million (N152.5 billion) as one of his companies, Dangote Cement also recorded impressive growth in the first quarter of 2017.

According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Bezos is less than $5 billion away from becoming the world’s richest person in a bid to overtake Bill Gates. Bezos saw his fortune surpass $80 billion for the first time on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, Dangote was worth $9.91 billion, but climbed to $9.96 billion by the end of trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday.

The stock market gods also smiled on Bezos as Amazon shares added almost $50 after the company projected sales that may beat estimates in the current quarter.

This added to Amazon’s unbroken 20-year streak of double-digit revenue growth.

Amazon had first-quarter sales of $35.7 billion and earnings of $1.48 a share, beating Wall Street analyst expectations.

Bloomberg said Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin added $1.4 billion when shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. rose as high as $938.18 on news that the smartphone ad business helped Alphabet post revenue of $20.12 billion and net income of $7.73 a share.

Gates added nearly $100 million with the same time frame, as Bezos ousted Warren Buffet, the legendary investor, to the third position on the world rich list.

GOODNEWS: Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson welcome baby girl

Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson welcome baby girlSinger, Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson have welcomed a baby girl, named Sienna, Princess Wilson. Ciara gave birth to their daughter Friday night, her husband took to IG to make the announcement about an hour ago. She also took to her page to make the announcement. Congratulations to the couple!

NORTH KOREA CRISIS: US, UK gives conditions over peace resolution

North Korea’s intransigence has forced U.S. and UK to give conditions for peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict over nuclear threats.

North Korea Missile crisis

The two countries gave the conditions at a high-level meeting on North Korea, attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 15-Member UN Security Council on Friday in New York.

This was just as North Korea reportedly launched another missile test on Friday as a Security Council’s meeting chaired by the U.S. got underway at the UN.

The high-level meeting was chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to end the country’s Presidency of the Council for the Month of April 2017.

Tillerson said: “For the past 20 years, well-intentioned diplomatic efforts to halt these programmes have failed.

“It is only by first dismantling them that there can be peace, stability, and economic prosperity for all of Northeast Asia.

“With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes Northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader

The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo was real, he said.

“And it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland.

“Indeed, the DPRK has repeatedly claimed it plans to conduct such a strike.

“Given that rhetoric, the United States cannot idly stand by. Nor can other members of this council who are within striking distance of North Korean missiles”.

The U.S. envoy warned that there was no reason to think that North Korea would change its behaviour under the current multilateral sanctions framework.

He said that international community has been reactive in addressing North Korea for too long.

“Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.

“We have said this before and it bears repeating: the policy of strategic patience is over. Additional patience will only mean acceptance of a nuclear North Korea.

“The more we bid our time, the sooner we will run out of it,” Tillerson warned.

He said that diplomatic and financial levers of power would be backed up by a willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action if necessary.

On its part, the UK, through Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, called for a change of approach by the Security Council, towards North Korea.

“This Council must be united in its demand that the present course cannot continue and Britain is proud today to have joined its allies to lead the enforcement of sanctions and seek a peaceful solution.

“We urge other partners with direct influence on North Korea to use their leverage to the full, with the aim of easing tensions and ensuring compliance with the expressed will of the UN.”

The UK called on Russia and China and other Member States to use whatever influence they possess to restrain North Korea and guide its leaders towards a peaceful settlement.

“Britain stands alongside our allies in making clear that North Korea must obey the UN and halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, disarming in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

“Only then can this Council be assured of the peace and security of the region – and only then can the people of North Korea have the chance of a better future.”

Ghost President, Ghost Achievements, Ghost Monies in Apartment Owned by Ghosts By Reno Omokri

Ghost President, Ghost Achievements, Ghost Monies in Apartment Owned by Ghosts  By Reno Omokri

This is an article written by Reno Omokri. Please read on..

For the better part of this week, Nigeria has been having much of a to do about the royal snub from the Oba of Lagos to the Ooni of Ife. Such outrage, such consternation against Oba Rilwan Akiolu. The venom vented on him on social media and in real life were as though he had committed some unpardonable sin.
We are angry with an Oba who refused to shake an Ooni, but not at a President who refused to shake his own female ministers on religious grounds but did not remember religion when he shook hands with the Queen of England, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Iara Oshiomhole.
You can see that hypocrisy, rather than corruption is the main problem of Nigeria. A nation that sympathizes with a star's husband for attempted suicide and charges a destitute woman with attempted suicide. No wonder our Presidential Villa had been turned to a retirement home!


As a people, we are easily distracted, easily carried away. We are excitable, with hyperactive nerves, quick to run away after fancies while the issues that are at the heart of our survival as a people are left untreated.

While we were tearing our our hair over what might just have been an oversight on the part of the Oba of Lagos, the minister of Information, the eponymously named Lai Mohammed, announced to a distracted nation that President Muhammadu Buhari, who had just missed his third Executive Council of the Federation meeting, would be working from home!

This is the same Lai Mohammed who in December 21, 2009 called for his predecessor, the late Professor Dora Akinyuli, to give daily updates on  President Yar'adua's health.

Speaking as the Publicity Secretary for the now defunct Action Congress, Lai said:

“It is clear to discerning Nigerians that those pretending to speak authoritatively on the President’s health are deceiving the public, since they are neither well informed on the issue nor competent to speak on it. Therefore, a daily briefing by the Minister of Information, based on authentic details provided by the President’s doctors, should start forthwith. As we have said many times, the health of the President, as a public figure can no longer be of interest only to his family and friends. Nigerians have a right to know."

This is the same Lai who told us in January that the President was in perfect good health. Now we know that his health is so good that he has to work from home!

And to add insult to injury, just two days before Lai told us that the President would now work from home, Chief John Odigie Oyegun was hugging the headlines calling for a second term for the stat at home President! Really!

We only see the man every Friday, yet instead of praying for his recovery Oyegun is scheming for his second term! That is how they deceived Abacha and Yar'adua to cling onto power instead of tending to their health. What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul?

This is a man that we only see on Friday at Mosque. The man has more or less become a ghost President!

A ghost President, with ghost achievements fighting ghost workers with an EFCC that goes after ghost monies in apartments owned by ghosts. This is what President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress have reduced Nigeria to!

It is hypocritical for a government that fights ghost workers to have a ghost President. If the President is sick let him hand over to the more than able Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo!

If you think it is harsh to ask the President to hand over to Osinbajo then ask him if he did not give the same advice to Yar'adua in 2010! Precisely on March 10, 2010, President Muhammadu Buhari called for the impeachment of Yar'adua because his health condition prevented him from performing his duties. For three weeks our President has not attended council meeting. For three weeks the only time we see him is at Mosque. Would he have tolerated this from Yar'adua?

From President Muhammadu Buhari's residence in Aso Rock to his office takes a five minute walk. I have walked that route myself. I know what I am taking about. I have been in his official residence and I have been in his office.

His office and his residence are connected by a corridor. If he cannot make it to the office despite the close proximity between his office and his residence, it suggests he may need something more than resting at home. Remember what Obasanjo said on January 20, 2010 “If you take up an assignment, a job-elected, appointed whatever it is, and then your health starts to fail and you will not be able to deliver to satisfy yourself and to satisfy the people you are supposed to serve, then there is a path of honour and the path of morality. There is path of honour and the path of morality."

A 93, President Robert Mugabe does not work from home. Even Pope Benedict XVI, whose home was his office, resigned in 2013 when his health could not handle the demands of the papacy. It is not about age. It is about capacity. President Muhammadu Buhari said the same thing about Yar'adua. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Again, President Buhari, if you cant cope, temporarily hand over to Osinbajo! It does not have to be permanent. Go and take care of yourself. Aso Rock is a Presidential Villa not a retirement home!

What moral justification does the Head of Service or any authority have to query any civil servant for absenteeism going by this recent development?

I urge any civil servant who is being queried or has been sacked for absenteeism to sue the Federal Government. If President Muhammadu Buhari can work from home and still collect full salary, why can't other federal workers? If the man with the most vital job can do his job from home, why can't civil servants with less vital duties follow suit.

And you can imagine that only this week, the State House correspondent of the Punch Newspapers was banished from Aso Rock Presidential Villa by President Muhammadu Buhari's Chief Security Officer because of a story on the President's health. Now we know what the fuss was all about!

And the excuse given by the Presidency that they were unaware of the CSO's action only raises more questions than it answers.

The worst thing the Nigerian Presidency could do in the case of the The Punch Newspapers reporter that was expelled from Aso Rock Villa by President Muhammadu Buhari's Chief Security Officer is to admit that they were not informed before the actions. If the Presidency was not informed about this action done in the Presidency's name then it begs the question, who is ruling Nigeria? Who is exercising the executive powers of the President? Is the tail now wagging the dog? Is this a déjà vu of the Yar'adua situation? No wonder Babachir asked 'who is the Presidency'. We did not know what he meant!

From the way things now stand, I just have to ask that between Nnamdi Kanu and President Muhammadu Buhari, who is actually in prison and who is actually free?

At least we see Kanu in court. How often do we see Buhari? Nnamdi Kanu speaks with authority, can we say the same of an unrepentant blamer who blames everyone but himself for the misfortune of his administration? Nnamdi Kanu has no NTA or a Liar Mohammed yet his words affect more headlines than those who do, proving that leadership is not by position! Yet somebody thinks Nnamdi Kanu is in prison and President Buhari is free! I laugh in Igbo and Fufulde!

And to think that Joe Igbokwe, the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the APC had the guts to say that the Igbo are not interested in Nnamdi Kanu's cause!

If Joe Igbokwe really thinks the Igbo are 'not interested' in Nnamdi Kanu's cause, let him go and say so in Onitsa Market and see if he survives. It is easy to stay in Lagos and say such nonsense, but I have a word of advise for Igbokwe: No matter how much a slave rejects his father's name, his master will still not include his own name in his will.

Hypocrisy has almost become a national pastime under this APC administration. It is not surprising. What more can one expect from a government that was conceived in propaganda and delivered in deceit?

Take the hypocrisy in the case of Mrs. Titilayo Momoh, the failed suicide who attempted the act on the Third Mainland Bridge. Now she has been charged to court.

I do not understand the point of charging failed suicides to court for attempted suicide. Do we want to drive them to succeed at suicide? Failed suicide need counseling, support and understanding. Stress, pressures of life and disappointments drove them to suicide. By charging them to court we are only adding more stress, pressure and disappointment to their life, further pushing them to suicide. This is an archaic law that is against the principles of natural justice and needs to be taken off our statute books.

A government that does not care if Fulani herdsmen kill us has the guts to charge a woman for attempted suicide! Are they angry she cheated Fulani herdsmen off her life? This is a travesty of justice! They have not charged the killers of pastor Eunice Elisha who was killed in Kubwa, fifteen minutes from Aso Rock Villa. They have not charged the killers of pastor Eunice Elisha who was beheaded in Kano in broad daylight. They have not charged the killers of Southern Kaduna minorities. But it is Mrs. Titilayo Momoh who is overburdened by a debt she cannot pay that they can try for attempted suicide. What a hypocritical action!

When Tiwa Savage's husband, Tunji "Tee Billz" Balogun, attempted suicide, nobody charged him for attempted suicide and rightly so. So why charge Mrs. Titilayo Momoh with attempted suicide? Does Nigeria have one law for the rich and famous and another for the poor and unknown? This woman attempted suicide because the economy collapsed and her business was in ruins  leaving her in debt. Let us not fight the symptoms and leave the disease. If the government wants to deter suicide then they should fix the economy instead of trying Mrs. Momoh.

I could go on and on, but I have limited space. You can email me at to continue the conversation.

Reno's Nuggets:

My nuggets for this week centers on money so that people like Mrs. Momoh, who are overburdened by debt can get some financial intelligence that will see the escaping the debt cycle if they apply these wisdoms I gleaned from the word of God.

The big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich only borrow money to invest while the poor only borrow money to consume. The rich man gets a loan to build a clothing factory, or a retail mall or a small boutique because he knows that the poor man will go to the same bank to get a loan or a credit card to splurge on new clothes to impress people. You see, many people who look rich are not rich simply because they spend too much money trying to look rich and have little left to be actually rich. The term dressed to kill may mean dressing well but it may also mean spending too much on clothes to kill yourself with poverty. The more the poor continue buying clothes and other accessories they do not need, the more the rich becomes richer and the poorer they become. So break the cycle. Never borrow to consume only borrow to produce.

Those who say money cannot buy happiness act as if being broke can buy happiness. Get money even if it cant buy happiness. Money multiplies your ability to do good. The world is evil today not because money is evil but because evil people control money. Ask yourself how helpful the Good Samaritan could have been if he had no money. Now ask yourself how destructive satan can be if his people had no money. Jesus preached and taught about money more than about ANY OTHER THING. So go out there and make money, do not be afraid of it. #RenosNuggets

NORTH KOREA: UN warns on miscalculation in North Korea’s crisis

As U.S and UK threats thicken, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned against miscalculation in the ongoing efforts to deal with North Korea’s nuclear threats.

Guterres told the Security Council session on DPRK (North Korea), chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, that a miscalculation could destabilize the northeast Asia region.

“I am alarmed by the risk of a military escalation in the region, including by miscalculation or misunderstanding.

“I am particularly concerned by the possibility that efforts to offset the destabilizing activities of the DPRK could also result in increased arms competition and tensions.

“This is further impeding the ability of the international community to maintain unity and achieve a peaceful solution.”

He said the onus was on the North Korea to comply with its international obligations but the international community must also step up its efforts to manage and reduce tensions.

“The absence of communication channels with the DPRK is dangerous. Armed conflict in Northeast Asia, which is home to one fifth of the world’s people and gross domestic product, would have global ramifications.

“We need to avoid miscalculation and misunderstanding. We need to act now to prevent conflict and achieve sustainable peace,” Guterres said.

The UN chief, however, warned North Korea to refrain from further testing, by complying with the relevant Security Council resolutions, and exploring the resumption of dialogue.

“This means reopening and strengthening communication channels, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.

“Preventing armed conflict in north-east Asia is the international community’s collective priority while the onus is also on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to refrain from further nuclear testing and explore the path of dialogue,” he said.

Guterres said since January 2016, the DPRK conducted two nuclear tests, more than 30 launches using ballistic missile technology, and various other activities relating to the nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

“The DPRK is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests this century. We must assume that, with each test or launch, the DPRK continues to make technological advances in its pursuit of a military nuclear capability,” he said.

He cited DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un’s description of his country as a “responsible nuclear-weapon State” and a recent statement by a delegate that “going nuclear armed is the policy of our State”.

Guterres said 13 UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations operating in the DPRK are calling for 114 million dollars to meet the urgent needs of 13 million especially vulnerable people.

He called on DPRK to engage with UN human rights mechanisms and with the international community to address the grave human rights situation and improve the living conditions of its people.

The briefing on North Korea marked the end of the U.S. Presidency of the 15-Member Security Council for the month of April, chaired by its UN Ambassador, Nikky Halley. (NAN)

Black woman deliver baby boy on a train at London Bridge station

Woman deliver baby boy on a train at London Bridge station
A Black woman was delivered of a baby boy on a train at the busy London Bridge station on Thursday evening, April 27. She, whose name is not yet known, went into labour on a Southeastern train before being helped onto the platform when it arrived at London Bridge. Realising the baby was on the way, an announcement was made for doctors and nurses to attend,before she was moved to a medical room. She gave birth to her son shortly after 4.30pm.

Dean Parsons, 43, an information assistant at Southeastern Railway, told Evening Standard:

Woman deliver baby boy on a train at London Bridge station
"I work in the control room but was doing work on the platform when a lady came running to my colleague and said there’s a lady on the train which had just pulled in having contractions. She collapsed on a bench on the platform. We called for the first aid officer from the station and put out an announcement for doctors and nurses".

The baby boy arrived before paramedics got to the scene, and he was delivered by an off-duty doctor.
Mr Parsons added:

“It’s always amazing how quickly doctors and nurses will always respond to announcements. They are fabulous. And it was about 3pm, they were just passing and they may have been on their way home from a long shift. Luckily with the new station being built we had a medical room. We managed to get her in a wheelchair, I was saying to her ‘try not to push yet.’

"At first the woman was in pain, she had tears in her eyes, the baby was a week early. But the photo taken shows her beaming"

A post on London Bridge's Twitter account read: Our team did a marvellous job helping to deliver a baby boy into the world. Mother and baby doing great"

'Nigeria will be shut down on May 30' - IPOB

Nigeria will be shut down - IPOB
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and people of the South East have been called on to ensure that Nigeria is “shut down” on May 30 2017.

IPOB had earlier ordered Igbos to embark on sit-at-home, on May 30, 2017, a day set aside to honour those who lost their lives during the civil war of 1967-1970.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the pro-Biafra group also urged its members not to be discouraged by the stringent bail conditions for the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

IPOB noted that its main focus at the moment was the scheduled May 30 remembrance day.

The group, while commending those who stood by the organization since the detention of Kanu, assured that their support would never be in vain.

IPOB said, “We should not be discouraged by the court ruling of April 25, 2017. Rather, we are focused on May 30, 2017 remembrance day, which is the priority of every IPOB member to ensure that no movement of any sort, both human and vehicular, across Biafra land on that day, will take place.

“We must make sure that all areas occupied by Biafrans for the remembrance and honour of our heroes and heroines, who laid down their lives during the genocidal war are shut down.

“Our leader (Kanu) has been in high spirit since his arrest in 2015 and we cannot afford our spirit to be dampened towards the liberation of Biafra because of conditions attached to his release.”

Wole Soyinka blasts President Buhari over his health condition

‘President Buhari Is Hiding His Health Status Like Donald Trump Is Guarding His Tax Returns’ – Soyinka

Due to the apprehension over his health condition, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make his state of health public to Nigerians.

Soyinka made the call yesterday, April 28 in Lagos while speaking to journalists in Lagos.

The revered playwright said the current speculations about the president’s health is “unnecessary.”

“Why is the president hiding his state of health? He’s supposed to understand he’s public property, me I’m still private property, that’s why I’m not in Aso Rock,” said Soyinka, a professor of Comparative Literature.

“Once you are in Aso Rock, or you occupy a similar position, you have a responsibility to come out frankly to your citizens.

“Guarding your state of health like Donald Trump is guarding his tax returns is not what we expect from a Nigerian president.

“Let him address the nation and stop all these speculations which creates unnecessary political manipulations among other things.”

CHINA: Dozens of Islamic names ban in Xinjiang region

CHINA: Dozens of Islamic names ban in Xinjiang region
Due to fear of extremism in the northwestern Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, the Chinese government has listed dozens of 'extreme' Islamic names banned in the Xinjiang province.

The list titled 'Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities' on the government document which was signed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party and disseminated by Uighur groups included 23 names related to historic religious, political figures and places that are deemed to be ‘overly religious’
The list includes ‘Imam,’ 'Hajj,’ 'Turknaz,' 'Mujahid,' 'Muhammad,  'Azhar' and 'Wahhab,' while 'Saddam,' 'Arafat,' 'Medina' and 'Cairo are also on the list.

According to the government ruling, if a parent chooses to name his/her child one of the barred names, the child will be denied government benefits in the country.

Confirming the ban, a government official told RFA.
‘You’re not allowed to give names with a strong religious flavor, such as Jihad or names like that. The most important thing here is the connotations of the name. It mustn’t have connotations of holy war or of splittism Xinjiang independence.' He said
However, the World Uyghur Congress, an advocacy group from the ethnic minority operating outside of China, has condemned the new policy.

‘In setting limits on the naming of Uyghurs, the Chinese government is, in fact, engaging in political persecution under another guise,’

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the group, told RFA.
“'They are afraid that people with such names will become alienated from Chinese policies in the region.'

Washington Already Knows How to Deal with North Korea

Washington Already Knows How to Deal with North Korea
President Donald Trump is right: North Korea’s nuclear program is on a dangerous trajectory. But there is no quick fix. Nor is there an imminent threat, and it does not help to create the impression that there is one. A show of force, if carefully calibrated, can be helpful. But rhetorical excess, personal provocations directed at North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, and stunts like calling the Senate to a White House briefing don’t help.

Moreover, for all the bellicose posturing from Washington and Pyongyang, the most likely outcome of this latest flare-up of tensions around North Korea is more stalemate, as the Kim regime continues work on its nuclear-weapons program—unless the Trump administration considers some new, non-military,  approaches.

Where North Korea is concerned, Trump is certainly not the first U.S. president to insist that “all options” remain on the table. His four immediate predecessors couldn’t stop Pyongyang’s nuclear march, not for reasons of negligence, insufficient toughness, or poor deal-making. There are, indeed, some foreign-policy problems with no “good” solution, where good means both a strong likelihood of success and a low risk that the remedy will turn out to be worse than the threat. North Korea is one such problem.

Within three broad categories—negotiation, military action, and persuading China to force its ally to give up its nuclear program—the choices have remained largely the same over the years, as North Korea has advanced from secretly piecing together one or two warheads to boasting a usable nuclear arsenal (perhaps 10-20 warheads with lots more fissile material on the way) and openly testing short, medium, and, soon, intercontinental-range missiles to deliver them. Twenty years ago, it made sense to insist, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently did, that North Korea accept denuclearization—giving up its nuclear weapons and facilities—as the precondition to negotiations. But because it fails to acknowledge all that North Korea has achieved in the interim, this position makes no sense today.

The military options have been reviewed, again and again, with the same conclusion each time: None are attractive. Seoul, a city of 10 million, lies just 35 miles from the DMZ, in range of Pyongyang’s heavy artillery. Enough of its guns could fire off a single round to inflict huge casualties on America’s ally before its planes could shut them down. While the United States could take out the North Korean nuclear or missile-launch facilities it knows of, there may be many it does not know of. And now that North Korea has mobile missiles, and solid-fueled ones that can be launched quickly, the picture looks even worse.

Under such conditions, a preemptive strike would be folly. North Korea would retaliate against Japan, South Korea, or the 28,000 U.S. troops stationed there, forcing Washington to respond. As North Korea began to lose, a conventional war would escalate into nuclear catastrophe.

Then there is the third option, increasingly prominent in recent years, of insisting that China solve this problem. This is a false hope. Short of forcing North Korea’s collapse, China cannot make it give up the very weapons it views as its only buffer against Armageddon. And China, for reasons of its own national security, will not go that far. It fears the flood of refugees that would result from the collapse of North Korea, as well as the ensuing chaos of regime change and the dangers from uncontrolled access to its neighbor’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Its biggest fear, however, is a unified, U.S.-allied Korea, with American forces directly on its border. In that case, given Washington’s treaty ties with Japan on the east, and increasingly close relations with India to the west, China would feel itself encircled.

This is not to say that China is powerless. In temporarily shutting down coal imports from North Korea, which provide the Kim regime with desperately needed revenue, it has taken a promising step. It can and should inflict more pain by shutting down leaks in UN-imposed sanctions by Chinese companies and banks. But even the extreme step of shutting down oil exports to Pyongyang would not yield Trump’s desired outcome, where Beijing “solves” North Korea if only it saw the problem as America thinks it should.

So, if the United States doesn’t like the prospect of North Korean nuclear-armed ICBMs that can reach its shores, it is time for some new thinking, forged from what it already knows about the Kim regime, but keeps forgetting.

First, threats don’t work. Indeed, they are counter-productive, because they confirm Pyongyang’s belief that it faces an unrelenting menace from the United States and its allies, and will survive only by never backing down. Another bit of wisdom that experience should have taught Washington is that Pyongyang’s protectors—first Russia, now China—have limited influence on its actions, much less than seems possible. In the 1970s, during a break in a negotiation on conventional-arms transfers, a Soviet official who had served as the USSR’s defense attaché in Pyongyang told me that in the years he lived there, he was never allowed into the North Korean defense ministry—all he had was a phone number. This was at a time when Pyongyang depended entirely on Moscow for arms and other support. The power dynamic one would expect between a superpower and a weak vassal state was inverted, with the North Koreans dictating the terms. The Chinese now find themselves in the same position the Russians once did.

If military force would be unwise, denuclearization talks a non-starter, and a Chinese solution unlikely, the most obvious alternative is negotiations to freeze, and perhaps partially roll back, North Korea’s nuclear program, rather than dismantle it, with ironclad Chinese-backed provisions to prevent cheating. This would mean de facto recognition of North Korea as a nuclear-weapons state, rewarding it for violating its Nonproliferation Treaty commitment and for spurning UN resolutions, and establishing a terrible precedent for any other state that might be tempted to follow its example. However, no other state is in a comparable position: economically isolated and therefore relatively immune to sanctions, and able to inflict very heavy casualties with its conventional forces. Another drawback is that an agreement that left in place some nuclear weapons and short-range missiles would, while largely removing the threat to America, leave its allies in danger. Such undesirable but best-available outcomes  are the price for delaying too long in acting against a proliferator.

Another possibility would be to strengthen America’s deterrence posture with continued deployments of missile defenses and an enhanced military presence in the region, making U.S. determination to act in its own and its allies’ defense more clear to North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. China would see these developments as a threat, of course—that would have to be managed.

The most extreme step on this pathway, and a last resort short of war, might be to encourage Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons (both are now protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella, under what is known as extended deterrence). That would cripple the global effort to halt nuclear proliferation, and could endanger, rather than safeguard, Northeast Asia. And it would have grave consequences for America’s standing in the world, reinforcing the view that Washington makes rules it demands others live by until it changes its mind and changes those rules.

A different course entirely would involve a difficult, long-term dialogue between the United States and China on whether the two countries could overcome their mutual mistrust and develop a shared vision of a neutral, united Korea. A prerequisite to such an effort would be a very clear U.S. strategy towards East Asia, including its relations with China, developed first for itself (requiring bipartisan support) and then with Tokyo and Seoul.

This list of potential approaches to North Korea is not exhaustive. Nor is it a full reckoning of their pluses and minuses. The point is that options beyond those that haven’t worked in the past do exist. There is a common thread among them: Where North Korea is concerned, neither China nor America will achieve security acting separately.

Source: TheAtlantic