Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Tokyo’

Rubio: I’ll Wait a Year Before Deciding on White House Run.


Same time next year.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is going to wait a year before deciding on a run for the White House, he told CNBC in an interview Tuesday from Tokyo, where he is on a weeklong tour of Asia.

“At this time next year I will have to make a decision about something like that and that time will come,” Rubio said.

Rubio also said he will consider whether he will seek re-election in 2016 or drop out of public office altogether.

“My most important job is the job of father and husband, so that will be the first thing I think about. The second is whether I feel like there is another office in which I can further this agenda that I’ve outlined, or whether there is work that remains to be done in the Senate or whether my time has come to return to the private sector,” he said.

“All those are valid choices, and I will explore those at the appropriate time.”
“I’ve always believed if you do a good job at the job you have now you’ll have an opportunity, including opportunities you have not anticipated in the past.”

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee is also visiting the Philippines and South Korea

He also added there was a good chance the GOP will retake the senate. “The Republican Party is an energized party. We feel like we’re going to have a real opportunity in 2014 to retake the Senate. I think that is where you are going to see the majority of Republican donors focused.

“And 2016 will be here soon enough. I am confident we are going to field a strong nominee.”

Related stories

Rubio Wants Senate Probe of State Department on Benghazi

Sen. Rubio: Democrats’ ‘Answer to Everything’ Is Send a Check

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Fagen

Nigeria’s New “MINTed” Hope By Okey Ndibe.


 

Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

During a brief trip to London last week, I was intrigued to realize that part of the news buzz pertained to Nigeria’s inclusion in a list of countries with prospects of becoming four of the world’s biggest emergent economies. The so-called MINT countries are Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. Jim O’Neill, an economist at the international investment firm, Goldman Sachs, popularized the acronym. He earlier coined the term BRICS countries, denoting Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which he rated a few years ago as some of the globe’s emerging economic giants.
On Thursday, Peter Okwoche of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ended a short interview on my new novel, Foreign Gods, Inc., by asking what I thought about Mr. O’Neill’s rosy prediction for Nigeria.

Lacking the time to offer a detailed and nuanced response, I stated that Nigeria is endowed with extremely bright people, that the country is full of energetic and industrious men and women. By contrast, I added, the country has never been lucky in the department of leadership. To sum up, I invoked Chinua Achebe’s dire—but hardly contestable—conclusion that Nigeria has an amazing facility for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Nigeria’s economic policy makers are understandably giddy about Mr. O’Neill’s flattering prognosis. I’d caution the infusion of a high dose of chastening realism into the premature celebration. A sense of history demands nothing less than a sober—and sobering—confrontation of the facts. Achebe was no economist, but the central fact of Nigeria’s journey, as far as economic development is concerned, bears out the late writer’s dim take on his country. In a sense, we could say that Achebe was the sounder economist and Mr. O’Neill, in inflating Nigeria’s odds, the fiction-maker.

This is not the first time Nigeria has been mentioned enthusiastically in prognoses of dramatic economic growth. Again and again, experts, foreign and homebred, had foretold that Nigeria was on the cusp of becoming a stupendous economic miracle. Each new prediction or declaration would trigger its own surge of elation. Nigeria’s policy makers and their sometimes over-pampered partners in the private sector would go into a spree of premature celebration, as if the word potential was interchangeable with reality, as if promise were the equal of performance. Each time, in the end, the outcome was embarrassing. Rather than rise to its potential, Nigeria always somehow found a way to stay stuck in the mud of failure and mediocrity, continuing to romance its worst nightmares.

Nigerians are all-too aware of their country’s missed opportunities. Many years have been lost to wasteful, visionless squander mania. Rampant, unchecked corruption has smothered many a promising grand idea. For many discerning people, Nigeria has become a huge graveyard: a cemetery littered with betrayed dreams, dashed hopes, and asphyxiated aspirations. We’re all too familiar with many dud promissory notes that came with such flamboyant names or phrases as “Green Revolution,” “Consolidating the Gains of SAP,” “Vision 2020-10,” “NEEDS,” “Dividends of Democracy,” and “Transformational Leadership.”

Read Nigerian newspapers or watch any Nigerian television station and you’re bound to realize that there’s zero discussion of the things that matter. It’s all about one empty-headed politician decamping from one political party to another; one squabble or another between two politicians or two political parties; one hireling or another warning that presidential power must stay where it is, or must be transferred to a person from a different geo-ethnic sector, or it’s hell-in-Nigeria; some pastor or imam declaiming that God whispered into his/her ears that Nigerians must fast and pray more (even though most of the populace is already on poverty-enforced fasting). Much of Nigeria’s public discourse is taken up by a tizzy of political rants and faux piety.

Greatness never comes by accident, nor is it imposed by divinity on an unwilling people. A country, like a person, must prepare—be prepared—for greatness. It starts with dreaming greatness, imagining it, contemplating what it must take, and deciding that the venture is worth the risk, that we’re willing to invest the time, intellect and material resources to translate the dreamed into reality.

Do Nigerians dream big? In words, they do, but not in deed. In the 1960s through the 1980s, Nigerian “leaders” used to speak of “this great nation of ours.” But even they have abandoned that species of bad joke! Now, they speak of “moving the nation forward” or “delivering the dividends of democracy.” But the rickety molue they claim to be moving forward is in reverse gear, headed, any moment, for a jagged gorge. Ask any Nigerian official what “dividends” they have delivered and you’re bound to hear such fatuous lines as, “I purchased 100 tractors to mechanize agriculture,” “I don’t owe civil servants any arrears of salaries,” “I bought chalks for all elementary schools in my state,” “I have commissioned 500 water boreholes,” etc, etc.

It’s the 21st century, but very little of the language of those who run (that is, ruin) Nigeria suggests that they are aware of what time it is. They’re conscious of the world, of course, but only in a slavish, opportunistic way. They, their relatives and cronies are at their best when they travel in style to the world’s most dazzling cities: New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Beijing, etc. Once in these cities, they unleash their rank consumerist impulse, eager to bask in the most garish of each city’s sensual offerings. But it never occurs to them that the goods that make them swoon, the services they lust after are products of other thinking people’s imagination and work.

Meanwhile, back home, the masses are steeped in grim lives, trapped by ignorance and disease. Last week in London, a friend showed me a Youtube video of a brackish lake in Nigeria swarmed by thousands of sick, desperate Nigerians who believe that the stagnant body of water has healing powers. I was incensed by the spectacle, the hysteria of ignorance. Then it dawned on me: this is what can happen—what happens—in a country bereft of any healthcare system.

I’d like to hear Mr. O’Neill stipulate a recipe for Nigeria’s emergence into economic greatness. Nigeria has a high supply of thinkers, of experts in every field, including economic policy. But the hordes of unthinking, grub-obsessed politicians who dominate the political sphere are consistently threatened by expertise.

I don’t know of any country that rose to economic powers via fasting and prayers. And yet that’s the formula most treasured by Nigerian politicians who exhort their victims to fast and pray. Luck can only carry a person or a nation so far. And Nigeria has long exhausted its stock of luck, even if it somehow keeps borrowing some more.

The “N” in Mr. O’Neill’s MINT will become yet another mirage unless Nigerians find a way to reverse the toxic culture that validates corruption and venerates mediocrity.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Biometric Technology Will Make Huge Advances In 2014.


RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast and the Implantable RFID Chip

The onslaught of technological coolness is dazzling, mind-boggling even. Everywhere you look there are apps and wearable devices that sync up to the cloud, and everyone is adopting them like crazy. George Orwell, in all his 1984 glory, could not have envisioned the One World Government curve ball that this would engender.

We no longer have to worry about the government creating a file on us, we are making our own with every post, pic and #hashtag we launch out into the cybersphere. And when the Mark of the Beast arrives, people will jump to adopt that one as well.

Good thing that we won’t be here for that!

CS Monitor: Apple’s new iPhone 5S comes with the company’s first fingerprint scanner. A simple stamp of your thumb can now unlock the phone or confirm online purchases. No passwords are required.

While Apple fans have long awaited this big update, so has another group: the biometrics industry. Sensor companies have been wishing for a major player to swoop in, show how far the technology has advanced, and persuade shoppers that biometrics can be cool.

nymi-electrocardiogram-bracelet-human-tagging-biometric-technology-mark-of-the-beast

With each passing day, we are being monitored, tagged and branded like cattle in the stockyard.

“Many think that the iPhone 5S is a tipping point for consumers,” says Adam Vrankulj, editor of the industry news outlet Biometric Update. After Apple purchased fingerprint-sensor company AuthenTec for $350 million in 2012, the stock price of several similar firms more than doubled.

Fingerprint sensors have come a long way since 2002, when researchers found a way to trick high-end scanners with fake gelatin fingers. Today’s technology not only reads the tiny ridge patterns, but some can also look at blood flow and vein patterns underneath the skin.

Plus, we now know that fingerprints and irises are not people’s only unique features. Scientists have devised ways to identify humans by the shape of their ears, kneecaps, and even their bottoms. A team at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo designed its rump sensor as an anti-theft measure for cars. The group claims that these prototype seats can recognize the owner’s posterior with 98 percent accuracy.

Canadian firm Bionym listens to people’s heart rhythms. While a human heart pounds at different tempos throughout the day, each person has a unique overall pattern, one based on the size and position of the heart within the body. The company’s Nymi bracelet uses electrocardiogram technology to read this heart rhythm and confirm the wearer’s identity.

Of course, biometric scanners are still far from perfect. The iPhone reportedly stumbles when it comes to wet or sweaty fingers. Mr. Vrankulj says the facial recognition software in his Android phone has a hard time with glasses and his newly grown beard – not to mention the false positives from simply holding up an image of the owner’s face.

Some have also voiced concerns about government agencies demanding the fingerprints of certain customers. Apple says such seizures would be impossible. The encrypted data stays locked up within the device, not on any of Apple’s servers. source – CS Monitor.

by NTEB News Desk

Japan Gets Okinawa Approval for Controversial US Marine Base Move.


Image: Japan Gets Okinawa Approval for Controversial US Marine Base MoveJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima gesture during their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Dec. 25.

TOKYO — The governor of Japan’s Okinawa on Friday approved a controversial plan to relocate a U.S. air base to a less populous part of the southern island, but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the island altogether.

The nod from Okinawa, long a reluctant host to the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan, is an achievement for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has promised a more robust military and tighter security ties with the United States amid escalating tension with China.

Skeptics, however, said it remained far from clear whether the relocation – stalled since the move was first agreed upon by Washington and Tokyo in 1996 – would actually take place given persistent opposition from Okinawa residents, many of whom associate the U.S. bases with crime, pollution and noise.

The approval came a day after Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, seen in parts of Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism, infuriating China and South Korea, and prompting concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the Asian neighbors.

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told a news conference he had approved a central government request for a landfill project at the new site, on the Henoko coast near the town of Nago. His approval for that project, required by law and a first step to building the replacement facility, was the last procedural barrier to eventually replacing the U.S. Marines Futenma air base in the crowded town of Ginowan.

“The government has recently met our requests in compiling a plan to reinvigorate Okinawa. We felt that the Abe government’s regard for Okinawa is higher than any previous governments’,” Nakaima told a news conference.

The governor, however, added that he still believed that the quickest way to relocate the Futenma air base would be to move it to an existing facility with runways outside Okinawa.

About 2,000 people gathered in front of the Okinawa government building to protest against Nakaima’s decision, with a few hundred of them staging a sit-in at the lobby of the office building, Jiji news agency said.

The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to close the Futenma base but plans for a replacement stalled in the face of opposition in Okinawa, which hosts more than half of the U.S. forces in Japan. Okinawa was occupied by the United States after Japan’s defeat in World War II until 1972.

“WILD CARDS”

Japan’s ties with the United States were strained when then-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who took office in 2009, sought to keep a campaign promise to move the U.S. base off Okinawa.

The Futenma base has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its location in a densely populated area.

Activists living in tents have been staging a protest near the site of the proposed Henoko base for almost 10 years and have promised demonstrations if Nakaima approves construction.

An election for the mayor of Nago next month could prove problematic if incumbent Susumu Inamine — who opposes the plan — is re-elected, while the central government could face a dilemma if demonstrators try to block construction.

“There are so many potential wild cards, so much that has to be done, that every small decision moves the process forward but by no means guarantees a final conclusion,” said Brad Glosserman, executive director of Pacific Forum CSIS, a Honolulu-based think-tank.

In April, the United States and Japan announced a plan to close Futenma as early as 2022.

Abe said the government would study whether that plan could be accelerated and would begin negotiating an agreement with the United States that could allow for more local oversight of environmental issues at U.S. bases.

That would address Nakaima’s call to revise the bilateral Status of Forces agreement that has applied to U.S. military in Japan since 1960 but has never been officially revised.

Abe’s government has also earmarked 348 billion yen for Okinawa’s economic development in the draft budget for the year from April, a 15.3 percent increase from this year.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

US, China Criticize Japan’s Abe for Visiting War Dead Shrine.


Image: US, China Criticize Japan's Abe for Visiting War Dead ShrineA Shinto priest leads Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he visits the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo on Dec. 26.

By Drew MacKenzie

The United States and China are lashing out at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for visiting a controversial shrine to pay his respects to soldiers who died in World War II.

Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, which honors 2.5 million war dead, including many considered to be war criminals, according to The Hill.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said, “Japan is a valued ally and friend. Nevertheless, the United States is disappointed that Japan’s leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan’s neighbors.”

China warned that the country’s historically poor relationship with Japan could deteriorate even further following the first visit to the shrine by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.

“The Chinese government expresses its strong indignation over the behavior of the Japanese leader, which grossly tramples on the sentiment of the Chinese people and other Asian peoples victimized in the war,” said Qin Gang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman.

National Public Radio also quoted Qin Gang as saying, “Japanese leaders are not only showing no moderation but have doubled their efforts and created a serious incident on historical issues. This poses a major political obstacle in the improvement of bilateral relations. Japan must take responsibility for all the consequences that this creates.”

The tensions between China and Japan have been greatly enhanced in recent weeks over China’s new air defense zones which incorporate air space that Japan also claims.

The visits by Japanese officials to the shrine have long been a contention with China, as well as with South Korea, due to Japan’s brutal aggression in those countries during World War II.

Abe said after his Thursday visit,” I prayed to pay respect for the war dead who sacrificed their precious lives and hoped that they rest in peace.

“Unfortunately, a Yasukuni visit has largely turned into a political and diplomatic issue. I have no intention to neglect the feelings of the people in China and South Korea.”

The U.S. statement expressed hope that Japan and its neighbors would be able to put “sensitive issues” behind them “to promote cooperation in advancing our shared goals of regional peace and stability.”

Related Stories:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

US, Chinese Warships Narrowly Avoid Collision in South China Sea.


Image: US, Chinese Warships Narrowly Avoid Collision in South China Sea

The USS Cowpens

A U.S. guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese navy ship maneuvering nearby, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement on Friday.

The incident on Dec. 5 involving the USS Cowpens came at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China following Beijing’s declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea.

The Pacific Fleet statement did not offer details about what led to the near-collision. But it did say the incident underscored the need for the “highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”

Beijing declared the air defense zone over the East China Sea late last month and demanded that aircraft flying through the area provide it with flight plans and other information.

The United States and its allies rejected the Chinese demand and have continued to fly military aircraft into the zone, which includes air space over a small group of islands claimed by China but currently administered by Tokyo.

In the midst of the tensions over the air defense zone, China deployed its only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, to the South China Sea for maneuvers. Beijing claims most of the South China Sea and is involved in territorial disputes in the region with several of its neighbors.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Biden to Japanese Women: ‘Do Your Husbands Like You Working?’.


During a tour of an Internet company in Japan Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden asked a group of women, “Do your husbands like you working full-time?”

Biden asked the question of five women while sitting with them in the cafeteria of Tokyo-based DeNa, a company founded by a woman and known for encouraging women to continue working through motherhood, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He also asked whether they could work from home. It wasn’t clear if any of the women replied at the time.

The visit was intended to promote the role of women in the workforce, an initiative by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is looking to increase the participation of women in the workforce as part of his broader strategy to boost the ailing Japanese economy. In Japan, 60 percent of women never return to the workforce after giving birth, the Journal reported.

“I, too, compliment Prime Minister Abe on his initiatives to bring more women into the workforce, stay in the workforce and give them more opportunities,” Biden said, according to the Journal.

Biden was accompanied during his visit by Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, who last week said she was impressed with Abe’s workforce policy initiative centered on women.

“I believe the prime minister understands that this is not just a women’s issue. It’s a men’s issue. It’s a family issue, an economic and a national security issue, and it’s a moral issue,” Kennedy said, according to the Journal.

Related stories:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

Tag Cloud