Banks in China allow American customers to buy and to hold Chinese yuan. A state-owned Chinese bank in New York has begun to offer its customers accounts denominated in yuan, a move calculated to expand the global reach of their currency. Daniel Hui, a foreign exchange analyst for the HSBC Bank in Hong Kong, explains that the Chinese government is “trying to expand the scope of people who can hold renminbi [yuan] and that increases demand.” Most economists believe it will take years before the yuan is an international currency on the same level as the dollar, the euro, or the yen.
When Governor Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard, “moderate Muslim” scholars in Pakistan greeted the assassination with cries of adulation. As was reported previously for The New American, a statement issued by the 500 scholars upheld the murder of the governor of Punjab as an example of Islamic justice in action; since Taseer sought to defend a Christian woman who had been unjustly sentenced to death for “blasphemy” against Islam, it was — they believed — only right that he be murdered as well. In the words of their statement: “The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy.”
The civilizations of China and India are two of the oldest in human history. Archeologists have found Bronze Age Indian artifacts from about 3,300 B.C. in the Indus River Valley, and say that signs of human activity in India date back many thousand years before that. China is relatively younger, with the earliest signs of civilization about 4,000 years ago, and signs of human life many thousand years before that.
“Beware, my dear Zilkov. The virus of capitalism is highly infectious. Soon, you'll be lending money out at interest,” commented Dr. Yen Lo, the Chinese Communist handler of Raymond Shaw in the 1962 classic The Manchurian Candidate. Now it would appear that the “virus of capitalism” has infected Laos — the Lao Democratic People’s Republic — with the country’s first stock market set to open today. Laotians have high hopes that the Lao Securities Exchange will bring in much-needed foreign investment to the landlocked and impoverished Southeast Asian Communist state.
The assassination of outspoken Pakistani Governor Salman Taseer has started a new debate in different sections of Pakistani society, and it has clearly drawn a line between the religious elements and the liberal class. The history of Pakistan since 1947 has observed such divisions, which widen when faced with such incidents.
In a gesture of goodwill to Moscow, the government of Kyrgyzstan decided to name a 14,587-foot mountain, located in the Tian-Shan range in northern Kyrgyzstan, the Putin Mountain in honor of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The announcement was made by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, “who signed the bill to rename the peak,” according to the Telegraph.
Approximately four years after fleeing Iraq in fear of arrest, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is returning to Iraq in triumph.
As the Washington Post reported on January 5, Sadr once fled to Iran, but now returns to Iraq with a significant bloc of power within the Iraqi government:
Analysts say secret U.S. diplomatic cables released by the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks show that American taxpayers — through the war-contracting firm DynCorp — provided drugs and financed a party for Afghan National Police recruits where young boys were used as sex slaves. The corrupt Karzai regime then pressured U.S. officials to “quash” the story before it came out in the press.
The murder of a Pakistani governor is being greeted with adulation by “moderate” Muslim scholars. Why? Governor Salman Taseer opposed the death penalty for those convicted of blasphemy against Islam.