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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's almost a sign of desperation on the part of the government.. Ministers and representatives of the teachers unions are in frantic meetings to avert a strike slated for Thursday.. Projected figures suggest at least 1 million students will get the day off, and their instructors lobby for pension reform, job security, and an end to the State takeover of schools which show poor performance records.
This is a sad time for British education.. At one time a Certificate or Degree from this Island meant quality.. an excellence of education..
While it's not quite hopeless, this economy seems to be an issue the Unions are ignoring.. still demanding unrealistic benefits for their memberships..
One can only hope, this can be resolved in an amicable manner, and the Unions will henceforth ensure their members meet the standards which used to be the norm..

The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant moved closer to ending its radiation crisis on Monday with the start of a system to cool damaged reactors that could also help avoid dumping highly contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean..
The move was hailed as "a giant step forward" by Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan..
Plant operator.. Tokyo Electric Power Company.. is running out of space to store a huge amount of radioactive water that has accumulated during efforts to cool the reactors.. It hopes the new system, which decontaminates water and re-circulates it to reduce reactor temperatures, will help achieve its goal of bringing the plant to stability by next January..

In a sign of international unease.. the U.N. Security Council voiced "grave concern" with the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, putting aside disagreements that had prevented the 15-nation body from speaking unanimously on the unrest there..
This was accompanied by the news that President Saleh was planning a return to Damascus, and would make a television address upon his arrival.. "He will appear within the next 48 hours despite our fear that the burns on his features and on different parts of his body will be an obstacle.. given that his appearance will not be as the media expects it.." said Ahmed al-Sufi, the President's media secretary..
Yemen has been rocked by months of protests against Saleh's three decades of rule. Before that he was grappling with a rebellion in the north, separatist violence in the south and a resurgent wing of al Q'aeda.
This will not bode well for any stability in the country for the immediate future.. for those against the government will only have their fervour refuelled by the return of the man, who for more than 30 years, has run their lives..

And in Libya.. the government yesterday renewed its offer to hold a vote on whether Muammar Gaddafi should stay in power, a proposal unlikely to interest his opponents but which could widen differences inside NATO..
Pressure is growing from some quarters within the alliance to find a political solution, three months into a military campaign which is costing NATO members billions of dollars.. has killed civilians.. and has so far failed to topple Gaddafi..
Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for Gaddafi's administration, told reporters in Tripoli the government was proposing a period of national dialogue and an election overseen by the United Nations and the African Union..
"If the Libyan people decide Gaddafi should leave he will leave. If the people decide he should stay he will stay," said Ibrahim..
But.. he said Gaddafi.. who has run the oil-producing country since taking over in a military coup in 1969.. would not go into exile whatever happened.
"Gaddafi is not leaving anywhere, he is staying in this country."

Here at home, an economic warning..
The Bank of England came under fire Saturday from the Bank for International Settlements for failing to raise interest rates despite inflation having persistently exceeded its target..
In its annual report BIS, often described as the central bank for central bankers, also called for an end to cheap money elsewhere.. warning that global economic growth would need to slow to curb inflation worldwide..BIS said that many of the challenges facing the world were a direct consequence of a third consecutive year of “near zero” interest rates in many leading economies. It said this risked a “reprise of the distortions they were originally they were originally designed to combat”..
BIS added: “The logical conclusion is that, at the global level, current monetary policy settings are inconsistent with price stability..
“Tighter global monetary policy is needed in order to contain inflation pressures and ward off financial stability risks.”
In what will be seen as a criticism of the Bank of England, BIS highlighted the fact that UK interest rates have been held at a record low of 0.5% since March 2009, despite consumer price inflation being higher than the Bank’s 2.0% target since December of that year..

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