Three months into governance, the tide has turned. His decision to resume import of US beef against public concern over mad cow disease triggered major protests so serious that his cabinet offers to resign.
The issue with beef import was only the straw that broke the camel’s back. The crux of the matter it seems lies in the President’s CEO style of governance – he hardly hears the voices of the people.
The turn of events is disappointing. I was rather impressed when he pledged in March to donate all 5 years of his presidential salary to charity.
Maybe his arrogance and confidence have got to do with this very pledge. His work now becomes a personal sacrifice for the nation, thereby justifying his calling the shots any which way he alone deems fit.
Saudi Arabia says the hikes are not justifiable given that the market has sufficient supplies. It is calling for a meeting among oil producing nations, consuming nations and oil companies spanning the supply chain, to discuss how to deal with it.
The Saudi’s official concern is that spiraling oil prices ‘could affect the world economy’. I think they are also worried about how the phenomena could backfire against oil rich countries in the long run.
Everyone is now driven to research and invest in renewable forms of energy. Dependency on oil aside, these alternatives also hold promises of cleaner environments.
One day they might just make oil obsolete.
38 swimmers wearing the suit have set new records since its introduction in February. Just yesterday, Kosuke Kitajima clocked 2min 7.51sec at the Japan Open to break the world record for men’s 200m breaststroke.
You see, the Speedo design is stealing the thunder from the athletes.
Yet, some athletes actually swear by it. Singapore’s 18-year-old Tao Li, who set a new record for 200m butterfly at the National Championships yesterday, said “I feel more confident when I swim in the suit, but the most important factor is still training hard.”
The unfortunate trend is that the sport is now as much about product superiority as it is about sportsmanship.
To level the playing field again, sports councils ought to take a leaf from beauty pageants – they make contestants parade in gowns of similar design.
But then again, sportswear is but one of various forms of performance enhancement means.
Then in March this year, it was discovered that nuclear warhead triggers had been shipped by mistake to Taiwan 17 months before, for what should have been helicopter batteries.
These successive Air Force blunders cost Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne their jobs.
Commenting on the dismissals, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates pointed out that although problems in securing arsenal are not new – since decades ago, in fact – the current leadership should have identified and corrected them.
Actions, or lack thereof, that have established as age-old practices are not necessarily right. Or safe.
The notion itself of not fixing something if it is not broken ought to be re-examined in this light.
In Jakarta, however, it is the factories, the hotels and the wealthy residents who draw water from wells.
The existing water utility companies are not coping with the demand from the city’s 14 million dwellers. So, those with deep pockets dig even deeper wells to supplement their water needs.
This picture from wikipedia illustrates groundwater.
The lowering level of groundwater, coupled with the piling developments on the surface, causes the city to sink. If the estimates are correct, Jakarta will be underwater by 2025.
It doesn’t help that Jakarta is a coastal city. The rising sea level from climate change will only aggravate the matter.
Just yesterday, parts of the city were inundated by a tidal wave brought about by astronomical interactions.