ロシアはバルカンで問題を起こしているようだ。 しかしながら、独立系のメディがほとんどないが、その真実は闇の中だ。

Russia appears to cause trouble in the Balkans
But with few independent media outlets, the truth can prove elusive
Nov 4th 2016 | Europe



ON November 2nd just under 200 paratroopers from Russia and Belarus started a ten-day military drill in Serbia. Meanwhile NATO troops were doing the same in neighbouring Montenegro. But the two opposing drills—the NATO one an exercise in dealing with disasters such as earthquakes, the other one, rather grandiosely dubbed the “Slavic Brotherhood”, slightly more provocative—are hardly the strangest of events to take place in the Western Balkans at the moment. The region, surrounded by European Union countries yet with longstanding links to Russia, increasingly appears to be the scene of worrying tensions between Russia and the West. 

at the moment:ちょうどその時

Rumours that Russia may be meddling in the region flared up last month. On October 16th Montenegro’s authorities said that on election day they had halted a Kremlin-backed coup, which aimed to stall the country’s almost completed accession to NATO. Police rounded up a group of 20 Serbian citizens whom Milo Djukanovic, the outgoing prime minister, said were working on behalf of Russia. Bratislav Dikic, the leader of the alleged coup, argued that he was innocent and that evidence had been planted on him. A former head of Serbia’s gendarmerie, a paramilitary police force, Mr Dikic was sacked last year after reports of his involvement in organised crime (accusations which he also denies). Now he leads a small right-wing, pro-Russia, anti-NATO party in Serbia. Many Montenegrins think the story is nonsense and was concocted to encourage doubters to re-elect the government. 


However on October 24th Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s prime minister, announced that another group in his country, including a number of foreigners, had indeed been plotting against Mr Djukanovic. Several people were arrested. Two days later Nikolai Patrushev, a senior Russian security official, flew in, and according to the Serbian press he secured the release of three arrested Russians. (Both the Russian and Serbian authorities denied this.) Four days earlier 40 tonnes of Serbian food, clothes and medicine destined for Aleppo took off in a Russian plane from Nis in central Serbia, where Russia has a base for humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, the Serbian press and officials have been debating the identity of an alleged CIA agent in their police. 


To further complicate matters, Mr Vucic himself then seemed to be at risk: on October 30th he was whisked to safety after an arms cache was found in a car close to the home of his parents. Reports seemed to indicate that an assassination attempt was in the offing. Who would want to kill the prime minister was unclear, and details remain murky. Much of what is published in the popular end of the Serbian and Montenegrin press is untrue. One Serbian politician believes the arms cache is linked to a drugs war now raging between Serbian and Montenegrin mafia clans. 

whisked :サッと動く
in the offing:差し迫って

Both countries have moved much closer to the EU and America over the past few years. Mr Djukanovic had hoped to bring Montenegro into NATO (a process which is now close to completion), and into the EU by 2020. But Russia loathes the thought of this country, with its strategically important coastline on the Adriatic Sea, joining the Atlantic alliance. There are plenty of Montenegrin citizens who share Russia’s dismay. Confusingly, Montenegro’s Orthodox Slav majority is divided between those who identify as Serbs, with their traditional friendship with Russia, and ethnic Montenegrins, who see the country as sharply different from Serbia and destined to chart its own course in friendship with the West. It is not uncommon for members of the same family to be on different sides of this argument. Opinion polls suggest that about half of Montenegro’s electorate favours joining NATO, in large part because they fear Serbia. (In 1999 Montenegro was bombed by NATO, albeit much more lightly than Serbia, as part of the campaign to wrest Kosovo from Serb control.) 

wrest :力ずくでとる

In Serbia, Mr Vucic has championed the idea of EU accession, but faces pressure from Russia to co-operate with its Eurasian Economic Union. According to Daniel Sunter, a security analyst in Belgrade, a “war of ideas” is being fought between Russia and the West in Serbia. Russia’s strongest tools are its Serbian-language news outlets, in which, he says, the world is presented as if in a “parallel universe” to that seen by its Western rivals. It is a war which looks likely to escalate. 

parallel universe:SFのような別世界

モンテネグロに対してロシアとNATOとの駆け引きが行われている。ロシアはこの国をEurasian Economic Unionに参加させようとしているが、現在の首相はNATOに加盟しようとしている。クーデターとか彼の暗殺とかの噂もあるようだ。このバルカンは未だにくすぶっているようだ。


swingby_blog at 22:22コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


フランスの大統領は自滅して、危機的状況の中にある。 Francois Hollandeの支持率は4%になった。

France’s president self-destructs
Into the abyss
Francois Hollande’s approval falls to 4%
Nov 5th 2016 | PARIS | From the print edition


Francois Hollandeの支持率は4%になった。

THE French have an expression, l’appel du vide (“the call of the void”), to refer to the compulsive urge to do something self-destructive, such as leap off a cliff. It captures the frisson felt in contemplating the act, but resisting it. President Francois Hollande, however, seems to have surrendered. In a 662-page book published last month by two journalists, based on recorded interviews with the Socialist president, Mr Hollande insults all and sundry: judges, footballers, his own ministers and more. That a leader seeking re-election could engage in such a politically suicidal exercise, six months before France’s presidential election, has left his allies dumbstruck and his political future in freefall. 

the call of the void:どうなっても構わない the call of the void is the thought to jump off the ledge you are standing on; wondering what would happen if you drove your car into another car or person; it is the thought of "I could kill someone so easily right now" when holding a knife, hammer, or what have you. it is the insane desire of our unconscious, but it is nothing to worry about unless you relish and enjoy these thoughts. 
all and sundry:誰も彼も

It was surprising enough that a sitting president in such turbulent times chose to meet the reporters, Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, fully 61 times over four years. Often they chatted at the Elysee Palace; sometimes he dined at their place. More shocking was what Mr Hollande said. He called the judiciary a “cowardly institution”, the national football team “badly brought-up kids”, the poor “toothless”. He belittled the stature of Claude Bartolone, the speaker of parliament, and the education of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, his education minister, neither of whom—unlike Mr Hollande—went to the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, the elite civil-service graduate school. En passant, Mr Hollande admitted to having authorised four targeted killings by the French secret services. 

badly brought-up kid:躾の悪いガキ
belittled :けなす
En passant:ところで

The damage was instant. Within days, the president dispatched eight letters of apology—to bodies representing judges, magistrates and prosecutors—claiming, creatively, that his comments bore “no relation to the reality of my thinking”. A poll taken after the book’s publication recorded his approval rating at just 4%. In the past, when Mr Hollande has dug himself into a hole, his friends have helped him clamber back out. This time, they handed him a spade. Manuel Valls, the prime minister, spoke of his “anger” and his deputies’ “shame”. Mr Bartolone described his “stupefaction”: a president, he added, has an “obligation of silence”. 

clamber :よじ登る
obligation of silence:沈黙の義務 黙秘権みたいなもの?

The French elected Mr Hollande in 2012 as an antidote to the frenetic Nicolas Sarkozy, his centre-right predecessor. They wanted, to use Mr Hollande’s campaign slogan, a “normal” president. At times, notably after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist atrocities last year, Mr Hollande has looked the part. Yet despite his reputation for private charm, he has mostly failed to appear presidential. He does not make voters angry so much as indifferent. “I am the ghost of the Elysee,” he says in the book. Relations between Mr Hollande and French voters now look irreparable. 

looked the part:そんな風に見える
private charm:個人的な魅力
so much as:さえしない

How did the president end up here? He suffers from “hyperconfidence”, suggests a former aide, which might explain his naive faith that the reporters would publish a less devastating book. This trait may yet lead Mr Hollande to run again, against all odds (and the desires of a growing list of Socialist deputies). With unemployment beginning to drop, and the economy doing a bit better, he might think he has a chance. He must decide by December 15th, the deadline to stand for the party’s primary. 

naive faith:単純に信じる
against all odds:大きな困難にもかかわらず

Yet even if Mr Hollande were to stand aside, polls suggest that the Socialists would perform disastrously in the presidential election’s first round, failing to make it to the run-off ballot. The party’s best alternative, Mr Valls, would not beat either the centre-right candidate or the nationalist Marine Le Pen. The prime minister’s mistake, says a friend, was not resigning earlier this year to preserve his own political future. Mr Valls has begun to warn that the party could “exit” history. Faced with the prospect of annihilation, Mr Hollande would appear to have little choice but to give up. Unless, as the book suggests, he really is unafraid of the void.  

stand aside:手を引く
Marine Le Pen:【11月18日 AFP】来年春に行われるフランス大統領選について、マニュエル・バルス(Manuel Valls)仏首相は17日、極右政党「国民戦線(FN)」のマリーヌ・ルペン(Marine Le Pen)党首が勝利する可能性はあると警告した。

Francois Hollandeは支持率はないし、全然ダメのようだ。Valls首相はMarine Le Penに対してさえも勝ち目はないと言っているようだ。そうした中で、政権を維持しているのは韓国もそうだが、日本では考えられない。サルコジはこの来年の選挙から早々に撤退しているが、フランスの選挙はどうなるのだろうか。


swingby_blog at 21:18コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


Xi Jinping gets a new label, but no more power
In China, a year of political infighting lies ahead
Oct 27th 2016 | China



CHINESE politicians often take obscure-seeming terms very seriously. Earlier this year officials floated the idea of anointing President Xi Jinping as the “core” of the Chinese Communist Party. Though the description has been applied to every paramount leader apart from Hu Jintao, Mr Xi’s immediate predecessor, it was controversial enough to be quietly dropped. But on October 27th, after a meeting of the party’s 350 or so highest officials, Mr Xi finally won the title. 

to be quietly dropped:静かに取り下げられる

A turgid communique summarising the outcome of the four-day conclave contained few other revelations. It repeated the familiar rhetoric of Mr Xi’s presidency, underlining the party’s commitment to fighting corruption and the need for party members to be more disciplined. It offered some platitudes: paying for promotion is forbidden and promotions should be awarded on the basis of good work, not “bargaining”; officials should follow the party’s rules; and—rather tough to enforce—“boasting should be banned” and flattery “weeded out”. It is hard to believe the party really intends that publicity about leaders be “based purely on facts”, as the document said it should be. 


These instructions will have little impact. Indeed, by spelling out notions that should be self-evident, they risk making the leadership look ineffectual. They also serve as an eloquent reminder of how rotten much of the party has become. 


That is a problem for Mr Xi. Though he has acquired huge power, he has struggled to exercise real control over officials in the provinces. He may be pleased now to be called the “core”—a term many had thought the party had decided no longer to apply to general secretaries because it risked undermining the leadership’s claim to be a “collective” one. But it will make little difference to his authority. 

general secretaries:総書記

The closed-door meeting kicked off a year of political haggling ahead of a party congress which will mark the crucial mid-way point in Mr Xi’s leadership (assuming he decides to follow precedent and step down after a decade in power—some analysts wonder whether he will). After the congress, five of the current seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee are due to retire, along with a third of the Politburo’s other 18 members. 

precedent :前例

Mr Xi’s predecessors decided most of the Politburo’s current make-up. The question is how many of his own allies he will be able to install during the reshuffle. China’s next leader will probably be chosen from among this group. Expect next year’s gatherings of the party leadership to be more nail-biting than this one. 




swingby_blog at 09:08コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



The collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Nov 23rd 2016, 23:00 BY S.R. | SHANGHAI


THE world's most ambitious free-trade deal in decades is all but dead. Donald Trump has said that on his first day in office America will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact that was nearly a decade in the works. Encompassing 12 Pacific Rim countries, including America, Japan and Canada, the TPP would have covered nearly two-fifths of the global economy. Mr Trump had called it a “horrible deal” on the campaign trail. In declaring his intent this week to withdraw from it, he said it was “a potential disaster for our country”. But proponents say it would have been a big improvement on existing trade deals and very good for America. Which view is right, and what happens now? 

all but:ほとんど

Measuring the precise impact of trade deals that have been in place for years is hard enough. Forecasting the impact of future deals is even harder. Nevertheless, many economists would agree with two general statements. On one hand, TPP would have generated more growth for all inside the agreement. A series of independent studies predicted that America would have reaped the biggest gains in dollar terms and that emerging markets, especially Vietnam, would have benefited most relative to their size. 


On the other hand, while free-trade deals enrich countries in general, downsides can be severe for industries and regions that lose out. Moreover, recent research has showed that these negative effects are often longer lasting than optimists had once believed. The TPP would, in other words, probably have increased America’s growth, but at least some people would have been justified in thinking it horrible. 


But looking at the impact on GDP alone is too narrow. The purpose of the TPP was always partly strategic. America and others alongside it, from Australia to Singapore, hoped the deal would let them shape the architecture of international trade in Asia and beyond. Their ambition was that the TPP would set a new standard for future deals. Rather than a traditional emphasis on cutting tariffs (which are already very low between richer countries), they turned to thornier issues such as differences in intellectual-property regulations. 


Even if the TPP failed to live up to their lofty rhetoric, it did break new ground. It contained stronger protection for labour rights, more environmental safeguards and, for the first time ever, measures to limit government support for state-owned companies. The deal was most notable, though, for its exclusion of China. The door might eventually have been opened to it but only after signing on to the full body of rules that the original TPP members, led by America, had hammered out. 

live up to:を裏切らないようの行動する
break new ground:新天地を開拓する
full body:全体の
hammered out:徹底的に議論して合意を打ち出す

The collapse of the TPP thus creates a void in Asia. America’s role as an economic power in the region has been undermined by Mr Trump’s isolationist turn. In theory the remaining 11 members could refashion the TPP, but Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, spoke for many in saying that it would be “meaningless” without America. Observers are now looking for China to assume the mantle of economic leadership in Asia. Conveniently, it is pushing for a free-trade deal (the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) that is close to completion. 

refashion :作り直す

But the shift of power to China is far from straightforward. Countries in the region are wary of its export juggernaut, an awkward starting point at the negotiating table. China’s blueprints for trade deals are also much more conservative than America’s, barely touching the regulatory thicket that made the TPP important. Asian countries will instead need to turn to the messy work of building up bilateral agreements. The hole left by America’s withdrawal is a big one, and not easily filled. 

thicket :大量で込み入ったもの・茂み




swingby_blog at 22:44コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


患者保護並びに医療費負担適正化法 オバマケアが危機の時 保険料の高騰がその取引所からの痛みを取り除く最も大きな原因になるだろう。

The Affordable Care Act
Crunch time for Obamacare
Big rises in premiums will cause most pain away from the exchanges
Oct 26th 2016 | United States 


FANS of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s health-care reform, should spend November biting their nails. The first reason is the presidential election: Republicans want to repeal the law. The second is that the three-month window when Americans can buy insurance, if they are not already covered through their employer, opens on November 1st. Many will shop on Obamacare’s government-run marketplaces, or “exchanges”. On October 24th the health department confirmed that buyers will pay a lot more this year. How they react will determine the future of the law—and not just because it may swing their votes. 

biting their nails:イライラする
three-month window:3ヶ月の期間
swing their votes:彼らの票を動かす

The average benchmark “silver”—ie, middling—plan sold on the exchange will cost 22% more for 2017. This steep increase partly reflects the fact that insurers have been charging far too little. Many were caught out by the sickliness of exchange customers, and have made big losses as a result. Some, like Aetna, have left most exchanges (in five states, only one insurer now remains). But despite this turmoil, insurance for 2017 will cost roughly what the Congressional Budget Office predicted it would when the law passed. 

caught out:窮地に陥る

Federal subsidies, offered to those earning less than 400% of the poverty line (which in 2016 works out as $47,520 for individuals), will shield many buyers from the full effect of higher prices. Of the 12m people who bought insurance for 2016 on the exchanges, 10m received subsidies. Obamacare caps their costs. So long as some insurers stick around—which they should, as price rises return them to profit—federal cash will shore up this part of the market. 

stick around:そのあたりにいる・その場でしばらく待つ
shore up:人がそばに寄るために詰める

That is the good news, as far as the law is concerned. The bad news is that 9m people buy coverage directly from insurers, without going through the exchanges or receiving any subsidies. And these folk, whose premiums help to finance care for everyone, on or off the exchanges, must also pay more. If the healthiest among them decide to forego insurance, premiums will rise further next year. The only thing stopping them from doing so is a fine for going without insurance, which is small compared with the cost of coverage. 


If healthy people stop buying, insurance will become prohibitively expensive for those who do not qualify for subsidies. Obamacare has already raised prices for many in this group. By banning insurers from turning away customers with pre-existing health conditions, for example, it pushed up premiums. In 2015 households earning $70,000 or more spent 75% more on insurance, on average, than in 2010, despite the fact that coverage rose only slightly in this income bracket. That is before rising deductibles are accounted for. 

income bracket:所得階層

This helps to explain the fierce opposition to Obamacare. In most states, insurers will now have to tell all their customers about price rises or discontinued coverage by November 1st, just days before voters go to the polls. Expect disciplined Republicans in tight congressional races to talk about little else before November 8th. 

little else:それ以外のことについてはほとんど言わない




swingby_blog at 21:29コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


After a period of unification and expansion under the dark rider, Russia inevitably suffers from overextension. No land power can endlessly expand: the farther its troops are from core territories, the more expensive they are to maintain and the more vulnerable they are to counterattack by foreign forces. Similarly, the more non-Russians who are brought under the aegis of the Russian state, the less able the state is to impose its will on its population — at least without Stalin-style brute force. 

impose its will:その意思を押し付ける

This overextension just as inevitably leads to stagnation as the post-dark rider leadership attempts to come to grips with Russia's new reality, but lacks the resources to do so. Attempts at reform transform stagnation into decline. Stalin gives way to a miscalculating Nikita Khrushchev, a barely conscious Leonid Brezhnev, an outmatched Mikhail Gorbachev and a very drunk Boris Yeltsin. A new disaster eventually manifests and the cycle begins anew. 


Why the Crackdown?
The April 14-15 protests occurred at an inflection point between the second and third parts of the cycle — as the white rider is giving way to a dark rider. Past Russian protests that involved 2,500 total people at most would have been allowed simply because they did not matter. The Putin government has a majority in the rubber-stamp Duma sufficient to pass any law or constitutional change in a short afternoon of parliamentary fury. All meaningful political parties have been disbanded, criminalized or marginalized; the political system is fully under Kremlin control. The Kasparov/Kasyanov protests did not threaten Putin in any meaningful way — yet in both Moscow and St. Petersburg a few dozen people were blocked, beaten and hauled off to court. 

at most:多くても

This development was no accident. Roughly 9,000 riot police do not spontaneously materialize anywhere, and certainly not as the result of an overenthusiastic or less-than-sober local commander. A crackdown in one city could be a misunderstanding; a crackdown in two is state policy. And one does not send hundreds of batons swinging while allowing Reuters to keep filming unless the objective is to allow the world to see. Putin chose to make these protests an issue. 


Putin, then, is considering various groups and rationalizing his actions in the context of Russia's historical cycle: 


The West: Putin certainly does not want any Western capital to think he will take exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky's recent threats of forcible revolution lying down. Berezovsky says violence is a possibility — a probability even — in the future of regime change in Russia? Fine. Putin can and did quite easily demonstrate that, when it comes to the application of force in internal politics, the Russian government remains without peer. 

application of force:兵力の使用
without peer:並ぶものがない

The people: Putin knows that governance is not so much about ruling as it is about managing expectations. Russians crave stability, and Putin's ability to grant that stability has earned him significant gravitas throughout Russia as well as a grudging respect from even his most stalwart foes. He is portraying groups such as the Other Russia as troublemakers and disturbers of the peace. Such explanations make quite attractive packaging to the average Russian. 

gravitas :実直さ・真面目さ

The opposition: It is one thing to oppose a wildly powerful and popular government. It is another thing when that government beats you while the people nod approvingly and the international community barely murmurs its protest. Putin has driven home the message that the opposition is not just isolated and out of touch, but that it is abandoned. 

barely :かろうじて・どうにか

The Kremlin: Just because Putin is disappointed that his dreams are unattainable does not mean he wants to be tossed out the proverbial air lock. Showing any weakness during a transition period in Russian culture is tantamount to surrender — particularly when Russia's siloviki (nationalists) are always seeking to rise to the top of the heap. Putin knows he has to be firm if he is to play any role in shaping Russia during and after the transition. After all, should Medvedev and Ivanov fail to make the grade, someone will need to rule Russia — and the only man alive with more experience than Putin has a blood-alcohol level that precludes sound decision-making.

air lock:気密室 気密室の外に投げ出されるという意味は死ぬことを意味する
make the grade:基準に達する



swingby_blog at 05:21コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



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