Why Mugabe Isn't Standing Aside (Or, When a Coup Is Not a Coup)
By Aryn Baker November 17, 2017


It would seem as if Zimbabwe’s military has President Robert Mugabe backed into a corner.

back ~ into a corner:〜を窮地に立たせる、〜を苦しい立場に置く

The 93-year-old has been held under army supervision since the military took over the airwaves on Nov. 14, and tanks patrol the still quiet streets of the capital, Harare. His former vice president-turned-rival Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose abrupt dismissal the week before triggered the political crisis, is back in the capital and determined to take power—seemingly with the blessing of the armed forces. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans are already celebrating the downfall of a dictator who has held the country in his iron grip for the past 37 years.

Yet Mugabe refuses to relinquish power before elections slated for April 2018, even as the military, the opposition and members of his own party insist that stands down immediately and hand power to Mnangagwa. And he can. Because he holds a trump card: the fear that the military’s power play could be called a military coup.

relinquish:relinquish one's position [claim] 地位[請求権]を放棄する.
slated:The bookstore is slated to open in early April. その書店は4月初旬にオープンすることになっている
hold [have] a trump card:切り札を持っている.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this was indeed a coup — despite the army’s insistence it has not taken over the government. Zimbabwean intelligence reports, cited by Reuters, suggest that Mnangagwa may have been planning for Mugabe’s exit with the military for more than a year. And Zimbabwe’s military chief General Constantino Chiwenga’s recent trip to Beijing to meet with the Chinese defense minister, though billed as a “normal military exchange,” is now raising questions. China maintains a close diplomatic and economic relationship with Zimbabwe, and its support for any change in government would be vital.

If the military does force Mugabe out of power, even with the support of the populace, it would still be considered a coup. That would automatically trigger suspension from the African Union as well as the 15-nation Southern Africa Development Community, and all of their activities. The region, and even European nations would likely impose economic sanctions. Zimbabwe would have trouble getting development assistance or even loans from international banks. 

suspension:一時的停止, 中止; 保留, 未決定(状態); (銀行などの)支払い停止

And even the United States’ limited engagement with Zimbabwe would have to be dialed back. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act “restricts assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.” That means that U.S. support for family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, governance programs and, ironically, democracy promotion, could be cut. 


If Mugabe stands down on his own, however, the political transition maintains a veneer of legality that ensures the next government, whatever it looks like, has a soft landing and the chance of international economic assistance. “If this transition, for which Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe have been waiting for such a long time, is to have a chance of succeeding it will need international engagement,” says J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Zimbabwe is already in economic freefall, beset by hyperinflation and unemployment so high that an estimated 3 million citizens are now living in neighboring countries. “No one wants to provoke a crisis that will send even more Zimbabweans fleeing over the border.” 

veneer:a veneer of culture うわべだけの教養.

Even members of Mugabe’s own party, Zanu PF, seem to understand what’s at stake. The party is working on its own transition plan, senior officials told Reuters on Friday, drafting a resolution to impeach the president if he refuses to stand down. “There is no going back,” the official told Reuters. “If he becomes stubborn, we will arrange for him to be fired on Sunday. When that is done, it’s impeachment on Tuesday.” 

at stake:危うくなって、危機にひんして

In the meantime, Harare’s streets remain calm, and Zimbabwean’s characteristic black humor about their own predicament remains intact: “Mugabe is suddenly a real Zimbabwean: an adult with several degrees just sitting idly at home,” tweeted @CynicHarare, a self-proclaimed “detractor” from Harare. 

predicament:(どうしてよいかわからないような)困難な状況; (特定の)状況, 境遇.
intact:remain (largely) intact (ほぼ)元のままである

The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator
The world should learn from his misrule, and help Zimbabwe recover from it
Nov 16th 2017


CALIGULA wanted to make his horse consul. Robert Mugabe wanted his wife, Grace, to take over from him as president of Zimbabwe. The comparison is a bit unfair. Caligula’s horse did not go on lavish shopping trips while Romans starved; nor was it accused of assaulting anyone with an electric cable in a hotel room. Grace Mugabe’s only qualification for high office was her marriage to Mr Mugabe, a man 41 years her senior with whom she began an affair while his first wife was dying. Her ambitions were thwarted this week when the army seized power, insisting that this was not a coup while making it perfectly clear that it was (see article).

Caligula:カリグラ、カリギュラ◆ローマ帝国第3代皇帝の愛称で、正式な名前はガイウス・ユリウス・カエサル・アウグストゥス・ゲルマニクス(Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)である(12生〜41没)。皇帝就任半年後から、残虐性や性的な異常性などが現れた暴君であったとする資料もある。
thwarted: 阻止する

Thus, sordidly, ends the era of one of Africa’s great dictators. Mr Mugabe has misruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. As The Economist went to press, he was in detention but unharmed. Even if he is allowed to keep his title, his power is gone. At 93, frail and forgetful, he has finally lost control of the country he ruined. The wonder—and the shame—is that he lasted so long. There is much to learn from the failure of his revolution. 

wonder:The wonder is that he held out so long. 不思議なことに彼は長く持ちこたえた

Mr Mugabe was once widely admired (and still is, among those who think anti-imperialist rhetoric matters more than competence). He fought against white rule in the 1970s, in what was then called Rhodesia, and legitimately won an election in 1980. He preached reconciliation with the white former oppressors. Buoyed by aid, global goodwill and good harvests, the new country of Zimbabwe prospered for a while. 

Buoyed :を励ます, 元気づける(up).

But like so many revolutionaries, Mr Mugabe could not tolerate any challenge to his rule. Viewing the second-largest ethnic group, the Ndebele, as disloyal, he used a minor insurrection as an excuse to crush them. In 1983 he unleashed his special forces (trained by North Korea) on the Ndebele, raping, torturing and murdering thousands of civilians. 


Survivors of village massacres were forced to dance on their neighbours’ mass graves, singing praise to the ruling party, Zanu-PF, in the language of the Shona majority. Unlike, say, Saddam Hussein or Idi Amin, Mr Mugabe did not particularly enjoy violence, but he never hesitated to use enough of it to stay in power. 

His grasp of economics was revolutionary in the worst sense. He liked the language of socialism because it let him boss people around while posing as a champion of the poor. He spent public money wildly—some of it on good things like education, but much of it on patronage. When he ran out of cash, he started seizing things, such as white-owned commercial farms, and giving them to his supporters. 

bossJim was bossing people around. ジムは偉そうに人に命令していた.

His disregard for property rights scared off investors. He printed money to pay the army and the civil service, sparking hyperinflation so severe that, at one point, Z$1trn would not buy a boiled sweet. He tried to fight inflation with price controls, causing shops to run out of basic goods. All the while his cronies gleefully looted the country’s public purse and diamond mines. After nearly four decades of Mr Mugabe, Zimbabweans are on average a fifth poorer. This year a quarter of the population were short of food; perhaps 3m-5m out of 17m have emigrated in despair. 

show (a) complete [total, blatant] disregard for rules:規則を完全に無視する.
scared:Civil wars scare off tourists. 内戦は旅行客の足を遠のかせる.
gleefully:大喜びの, はしゃいだ; ほくそ笑んだ.

Will the coup improve matters? It is hard to be optimistic. Coups are never legal and usually spread misery. The generals and ruling-party old guard who engineered this one are not reformers; they are part of the grubby system Mr Mugabe created. Many have profited handsomely from it, and intervened this week not out of principle but to stop Mrs Mugabe and her younger supporters from taking their places at the trough. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the 75-year-old man who may end up in charge, is a longtime Mugabe loyalist and every bit as nasty as his ex-boss. (He was security minister during the Ndebele massacres; during an election campaign in 2000 his supporters burned his opponent’s home down.) This bloodstained crew of plotters make unlikely national saviours. 

grubby:だらしない; 堕落した, 腐敗した
on prínciple:(衝動的にではなく)主義[信念]に基づいて; 道義上.
trough:have one's nose [snout] in the trough (うまい汁を吸おうと)首を突っ込む.
nasty:やっかいな, 扱いにくい
bloodstained:血まみれの; 殺人の罪を犯した.
saviours:(困難・危険から)救う人[物], 救済者.

A big ditch to climb out of
Nonetheless, there is a sliver of hope. Zimbabwe’s ruling elite have long honoured the forms of democracy, and have occasionally lost elections despite cheating on a grand scale. Mr Mnangagwa may be a thug, but he is a pragmatic one, free of the Messiah complex that caused Mr Mugabe to lose touch with reality. He knows that the treasury is empty, and that Zimbabwe needs urgent help from donors such as the IMF. He has put out feelers to the opposition. He talks of ending some of Mr Mugabe’s woeful policies, such as the law requiring all companies above a certain size to be majority-owned by black Zimbabweans (in practice, ruling-party fat cats). 

sliver :僅かな部分
occasionally:時々, 時たま, 時折 
Messiah complex:キリストコンプレックスまたはメシアコンプレックス、救世主妄想とも呼ばれる、個人が救済者になることを運命づけられているという信念を抱く心の状態を示す言葉である 。
feelers:put [send] out feelers 探りを入れる. 探り

An election is due to be held by the middle of next year. Any aid to a new, transitional government should be conditional on a free and fair ballot. Exiles, whose remittances have saved countless Zimbabweans from destitution, should be allowed to vote. The polls should be monitored by neutral observers such as the UN and the EU. South Africa will no doubt play a role in the transition, but it may not be a constructive one under Jacob Zuma—another ruler who tolerates grotesque corruption and wants to put his former wife on the throne. China, which propped up Mr Mugabe for a while but then decided he was a deadbeat, has not made its intentions known. 

destitution:貧困, 極貧, 困窮(状態).
grotesque:a grotesque price [distortion] ひどい高値[事実の歪曲]
deadbeat:(仕事も将来の展望もない)怠け者, つまらないやつ.

There are two morals to draw from Mr Mugabe’s long, ignominious career. The first is that bad policies, corruptly implemented, can wreck a country with alarming speed and go on wrecking it long after you would have thought there was nothing left. Venezuela has little in common with Zimbabwe culturally, but has also achieved disastrous results by embracing a Latin version of Mugabenomics. By contrast, Botswana, Zimbabwe’s culturally similar but well-governed neighbour, was roughly as rich in 1980 but is now seven times richer. 

ignominious:不名誉な, 恥ずべき, 屈辱的な〈結末・敗北など〉; 軽蔑すべき, 卑しむべき.
wreck:John's heavy drinking wrecked his marriage .:ジョンは酒の飲みすぎで結婚生活をめちゃくちゃにした.

The second moral is that, for all its disappointments, democracy remains the best antidote for bad rulers. Had Zimbabweans been allowed to choose, they would have tossed Mr Mugabe and his henchmen out long ago. Were there an honest vote now, his successor would start out with real legitimacy. 

henchmen:(政治家やギャングの)忠実な部下, 子分, 手先

The world has abandoned Zimbabwe to its fate too many times before. This time, outsiders should offer a hand to help it climb out of the ditch into which Mr Mugabe drove it. 


ムガベの無茶苦茶な政治がようやく終わりそうだ。挙げ句の果ては彼の妻まで大統領にしようとした。身内びいきの政治もやっと終わる。しかし、彼の副大統領だったEmmerson Mnangagwaが大統領にとりあえずなりそうだが、この男もとんでもない悪党のようだ。ただ、ムガベよりましだと言うだけだ。この国は良くなるのだろうか。かなり疑問だ。一人あたりのGDPが1100ドルなので、アフガニスタンと一緒だ。極貧だろう。


swingby_blog at 21:39コメント(0) 


アメリカの夢はどのようにして拝金主義と不平等に成り下がったのか。 世界経済フォーラム

How the American dream turned into greed and inequality
World Economic Forum 
Alberto Gallo, World Economic Forum Nov 12, 2017, 10:00 PM ET


greed:欲深さ 貪欲 拝金主義
uncle sam
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The American Dream is broken. Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, recently stated that "in our country, the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life."

Yet the idea that every American has an equal opportunity to move up in life is false. Social mobility has declined over the past decades, median wages have stagnated and today's young generation is the first in modern history expected to be poorer than their parents. The lottery of life - the postcode where you were born - can account for up to two thirds of the wealth an individual generates.

Social mobility:Social mobility, movement of individuals, families, or groups through a system of social hierarchy or stratification. If such mobility involves a change in position, especially in occupation, but no change in social class, it is called “horizontal mobility.” An example would be a person who moves from a managerial position in one company to a similar position in another. If, however, the move involves a change in social class, it is called “vertical mobility” and involves either “upward mobility” or “downward mobility.” An industrial worker who becomes a wealthy businessman moves upward in the class system; a landed aristocrat who loses everything in a revolution moves downward in the system.
lottery:運 めぐり合わせ くじ引き
postcode:郵便番号 〜̀lottery⦅英⦆居住地による医療サービス格差.番号 

The growing gap between the rich and the poor, the old and the young, has been largely ignored by policymakers and investors until the recent rise of anti-establishment votes, including those for Brexit in the UK and for President Trump in the US. This is a mistake. 

Inequality is much more than a side-effect of free market capitalism. It is a symptom of policy negligence, where for decades, credit and monetary stimulus shortcuts too easily substituted for structural reform, investment and economic strategy. Capitalism has been incredibly successful at boosting wealth, but it has failed at redistributing it. Today, without a push to redistribute wealth and opportunity, our model of capitalism and democracy may face self-destruction. 

negligence:怠慢、義務を怠ること、手抜き、不注意 過失◆損害を与えるかもしれないと予想できるにもかかわらず不注意によりそれを回避しないこと。

The widening of inequality has deep historical roots. Keynes' interventionist policies worked well during the post-war recovery, as fiscal stimulus for the reconstruction boosted demand for US goods from Europe and Japan. But soon the stimulus faded. The U.S. found itself with declining growth and rising inflation at a time when it was mired in the Cold War and Vietnam conflicts. The baby boomer generation demanded higher living standards. The response was the Nixon shock in 1971: a set of policies which moved away from the gold standard, initiating the era of fiat money and free credit. 

fiat money :inconvertible paper money made legal tender by a government decree. 法定不換紙幣

Credit was the answer to declining growth and rising inequality: if you couldn't afford university, a new house or a new car, Uncle Sam would lend you the key to the American Dream in the form of that extra loan you needed. Over the following decades, state subsidies to private credit became popular, spreading to the U.K. and Europe. 

It was the start of debt-based democracies. Private debt outgrew GDP four times in the US and Europe over the following decades up to the 2008 financial crisis, accompanied by the deregulation of financial markets and of banks. The rest is history: nine long years after the crisis, our economies are still healing from excess debt, and regulators are still working on strengthening our financial system. Inequality, however, has deepened even further. Has capitalism failed? 

healing :を回復させる

The deus ex-machina of capitalism was competition; a distorted interpretation of Adam Smith's invisible hand. Competition among individuals and companies created efficient markets, increasing production and GDP. Government intervention became unnecessary: any wealth generated in the economic process would automatically trickle down from the haves to the have-nots. Greed, the unshackled pursuit of individual wealth, turned from vice to virtue. 

deus ex-machina:古代ギリシアの演劇において、劇の内容が錯綜してもつれた糸のように解決困難な局面に陥った時、絶対的な力を持つ存在(神)が現れ、混乱した状況に一石を投じて解決に導き、物語を収束させるという手法を指した。悲劇にしばしば登場し、特に盛期以降の悲劇で多く用いられる。

Today, we know the neoliberal policies initiated by Reagan and Thatcher have been successful at generating growth: the United States and the UK have outpaced others. But we also know that the same neoliberal policies have failed at redistributing resources and opportunity. If individual economic success is deemed the highest possible achievement, poverty becomes justified by someone's lack of effort or ability. 

neoliberal:relating to a modified form of liberalism tending to favor free-market capitalism.

But with rising social and corporate inequality, productivity has stagnated, lowering potential growth rates for the whole economy. The result has been a self-reinforcing cycle of lower productivity, lower interest rates, higher debt levels and even higher inequality. 


If trickle-down and neoliberalism have failed the good news is there are some policy fixes. One of them is taxation, combined with investment in productive infrastructure and education. The bad news is policy is going exactly in the opposite direction, especially in the US and the UK. 

The Trump Administration's tax breaks may boost markets, but will likely increase public debt even further, calling for more cuts to education and healthcare. 

Defenders of neoliberal policies like Mr Ryan argue that equality of opportunity is fair, while equality of outcome - which Milton Friedman called socialism - is unfair and not meritocratic. The reality is that both wealth and income inequality are closely linked. Richer parents can afford to send their children to better schools: nearly half of the variation in wages of sons in the United States can be explained by looking at the wages of their fathers a generation before. 

meritocratic:能力主義(社会), 実力主義(社会).

That compares to less than 20% in relatively egalitarian and tuition-free countries like Finland, Norway and Denmark. The story is similar in the UK, where over half of judges, MPs and CEOs of UK companies attended expensive private schools, while around one third of children live below the poverty line - 67% of those from working families. Better education means better opportunities and more wealth later in life: the cycle reinforces itself from generation to generation. 

egalitarian:〈社会・政治などが〉平等な, 平等主義の.

But today this cycle may be now at breaking point. If "let-them-eat-credit"policies allowed the 99% to borrow and increase their well-being over the past decades, interest rates have now reached rock-bottom and private debt levels are at their highest. There are signs that monetary policy may have reached its limits - creating asset bubbles and keeping zombie companies alive - and that it may no longer be able to support this ever-growing debt mountain. 

Let Them Eat Credit: It was that Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both pressed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ramp up lending to low-income families. The promotion of easy credit as a quick fix for the income gap.

The risk is that rising inequality, lower social mobility and the disenfranchisement of younger generations could result into even more polarised and short-sighted politics, creating a populist trap. The US and the UK could already be stuck: many of the policies on the table in both countries are far from sustainable, and damaging for the people they were to protect. Brexit or an exit from NAFTA are both striking examples.

stuck:get stuck in traffic [a traffic jam 交通渋滞に巻き込まれる

Continental Europe and Scandinavia - even though far from perfect - have so far escaped from the worst of the populist threat of the Front National, Alternative for Germany, True Finns or the Danish People's Party, perhaps thanks to their stronger safety net and welfare policies. However, these parties continue to gain ground, as recent elections in Germany and Austria show. 

There are two ways we think the world may exit this loop of rising inequality, political polarisation and short-sighted politics. One is to make the poor richer through education and investment. The other is to make the rich poorer.

Last year, the IMF ditched neoliberalism and recommended measures to redistribute wealth and opportunity. This policy mix could reduce inequality, boost political stability and improve long-term growth. In its five-year plan, China's leadership recently announced a renewed focus on reducing inequality. The US and UK, too, should acknowledge they have a structural, not a cyclical problem, that cannot be solved with one more round of monetary stimulus. Redistribution should be coupled with a reform of the financial system, still too centered on risk-taking and debt incentives; as well as changes to the tax system, which still places too much burden on income and too little on assets. 

coupled:rain coupled with a strong wind 強い風を伴った雨

The alternative to redistribution is instability and crisis. Inequality provides fertile ground for populist parties to harvest support. The US, for instance, has recently been downgraded from full democracy to a flawed democracy. Over time, populist policies can destabilize democracies, turning them towards nationalism, militarism and anti-capitalism. The outcome of populist regimes in history ranges from higher taxes to nationalizations and violations of private property, to commercial and military conflicts. 


Neoliberal theory and its policy offshoots have failed. Promoting individual happiness as our utmost ethos is self-defeating, as deeply divided societies turn unstable and unhappy. We need a new American dream based on equality and sustainable growth. The cost of sharing opportunity and wealth may be high for today's elites, but the alternative is far worse. 

offshoots:分派, 流れをくむもの
be of the utmost importance:最重要である
ethos :(特定の民族・時代の思想・慣習などを特色づける)精神, (文化的)特色; (集団・個人の)気質.



swingby_blog at 18:23コメント(0) 

マレーシアの首相はもうじき選挙を行うだろう。 横領に関与しているもかかわらず、彼はおそらく勝つだろう。

Malaysia’s prime minister will call an election soon
Despite being implicated in embezzlement, he may well win
Nov 9th 2017 | KUALA LUMPUR


be implicated in the conspiracy:陰謀に関与している

THE opposition, naturally, has been making hay out of the goings-on at 1MDB, a Malaysian state-owned investment fund. Over the past few months it took a road show, complete with snazzy slides on shell companies and international transfers, to rural areas to explain how almost $4bn of taxpayers’ money was siphoned out of the firm—quite a lot of it, American investigators say, by Najib Razak, the prime minister. But in the two years since the scandal first broke, Mr Najib (pictured) has worked assiduously to bury it, while purging opponents and distracting voters. He now looks ready to call—and win—an election. 

naturally:予想されるように, 当然(ながら)
hay:make hay out of…を上手に利用する
road show:巡回興行[公演・展示・宣伝]〈和製英語〉ロードショー◆【標準英語】preview
snazzy:〈服・車などが〉明るく派手な; しゃれた.
shell company:ペーパーカンパニー
distracting:人の気を散らす[そらす, 紛らす]

Mr Najib does not dispute that roughly $700m entered his personal bank accounts shortly before the previous election, in 2013. But he says it was a gift from an unnamed Saudi royal, and that most of it was returned. (The donor, Mr Najib’s allies say, was Prince Turki bin Abdullah, who was recently arrested for alleged corruption.) America’s Justice Department, however, says the money was looted from 1MDB. 

Nancy disputed the policeman's account of the incident.:ナンシーはその事件についての警官の説明に異を唱えた

America, Switzerland and Singapore have conducted investigations into 1MDB. In theory, Malaysia has too. But the only person convicted in Malaysia in relation to the scandal is an opposition politician who leaked parts of the auditor-general’s investigation because the government declared it an official secret. Mr Najib fired the attorney-general for pursuing the matter, and then other senior members of his party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), when they protested. 

Although prosecutors show no interest in the billions stolen from 1MDB, they are always on the lookout for misdeeds by the opposition. Anwar Ibrahim, a leader of Pakatan Harapan (PH), an opposition coalition, has been put behind bars for sodomy (a crime in Malaysia), on flimsy evidence. Later this month the government will oppose a suit calling for his release. 

lookout: keep a (sharp) lookout for を(しっかり)見張る, (十分)気をつける.

Meanwhile another senior figure in PH, Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of the state of Penang, conveniently faces two sets of corruption charges (he is accused of buying a house at an artificially low price). Two leaders of an opposition party in the state of Sabah, set up by a former vice-president of UMNO sacked as a minister for complaining about 1MDB, have also been scooped up in a recent corruption probe. 

scooped:scoop out the flesh with a spoon スプーンで果肉を取り出す.

Piety before propriety
Meanwhile UMNO has positioned itself as the defender of Islam, the faith of the Malay majority. This worries ethnic-Chinese and -Indian voters, the largest minority groups. Mr Najib is courting a conservative Islamic party as a possible new member of his ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional. It supports public caning and other harsh punishments. 

Piety:敬虔 信心
courting:They have successfully courted support in America. 彼らはアメリカの支持をうまく取り付けた.

When a launderette in the state of Johor put up a sign in September that read “For Muslim customers only”, Mr Najib, the head of a multi-ethnic coalition, kept mum. Instead, the local sultan, who is the head of the Muslim faith in the state, rebuked the owners for discriminating against minorities. Last month he and the country’s eight other sultans, who take it in turns to serve as head of state, released an unusual statement deploring growing Muslim intolerance as “beyond all acceptable standards of decency”. 

launderette:laundromat コインランドリー
mum:Keep [Stay] mum about our plot. 我々のたくらみのことは黙っていろ.
deploring:The government deplored the bombing. 政府はその爆破事件を非難した
decency:common decency 社会常識, 良識

Gerrymandering will also help Mr Najib. At the last election, although the opposition won 51% of the vote, it secured only 40% of the 222 seats in parliament. The election commission, with government-appointed members, has proposed boundaries for the next contest which will see even more of those who usually vote for the opposition, such as the ethnic-Chinese, crammed into huge constituencies, many of them urban. 

crammed:The room is crammed with magazines and books. その部屋には雑誌や本がびっしり詰まっている.

In practice this means their votes count for less than those of Malays in sparsely populated rural constituencies, who tend to favour UMNO. The state of Selangor, controlled by an opposition party, has challenged the new boundaries; a decision in the past week by the federal court allows them to stand everywhere else. 

Mr Najib is also showering voters with cash. The 280bn ringgit ($66bn) budget for 2018, announced late last month, cuts taxes for more than 2m people. It also provides bonuses to some 1.6m civil servants which will be paid in two instalments—the first in January and the second in June—with the election likely to fall between the two. Billions will be set aside for rural infrastructure, too. 

Set aside time for your children. : 子どもたちと過ごす時間を確保してください。

Not everything is going the prime minister’s way. The PH coalition has been boosted by the inclusion of a new party, Bersatu, founded by Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister and head of UMNO for more than two decades. It signed up around 200,000 members in just a few months. 

Mahathir Mohamad recently is against Najib for his embezzlement.

Confronted with a strengthening opposition, Mr Najib might choose to hold the election sooner, rather than later. But a vote in the next two months would probably coincide with seasonal flooding in rural areas, which might both suppress the vote and make the voters who do turn out irritable. A short delay could avoid this. But the prime minister will not want to wait for long, given that Mr Anwar may walk free as early as April. The sweet spot may come after Chinese New Year in February. For those opposed to Mr Najib, however, the outcome may be bitter. 




swingby_blog at 08:06コメント(0) 


アメリカのグローバルへの影響は衰えてきている。 アジアの大統領の歴訪はアメリカが内向きになっている事実を隠すことは出来ないし、アメリカだけでなく世界に損害を与えている。

America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump
A presidential tour of Asia cannot hide the fact that America has turned inward, hurting itself and the world
Nov 9th 2017


A YEAR ago this week Donald Trump was elected president. Many people predicted that American foreign policy would take a disastrous turn. Mr Trump had suggested that he would scrap trade deals, ditch allies, put a figurative bomb under the rules-based global order and drop literal ones willy-nilly. NATO was “obsolete”, he said; NAFTA was “the worst trade deal maybe ever”; and America was far too nice to foreigners. “In the old days when you won a war, you won a war. You kept the country,” he opined, adding later that he would “bomb the shit out of” Islamic State (IS) and “take the oil”. 


So far, Mr Trump’s foreign policy has been less awful than he promised. Granted, he has pulled America out of the Paris accord, making it harder to curb climate change, and abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a big trade deal. However, he has not retreated pell-mell into isolationism. He has not quit NATO; indeed, some of America’s eastern European allies prefer his tough-talk to the cool detachment of Barack Obama. He has not started any wars. 

look awful:具合が悪そうだ; 見た目がひどい
Granted:Granted (that) it is true, I still cannot support it. それが正しいとしても, 支持することはできない
pell-mell:あわてて[た]; 自制できずに[ない]; めちゃくちゃに[な].
detachment:冷静(さ), 超然, 公平無私; ≪…に対する≫ 無関心, 無感覚

He has stepped up America’s defence of Afghanistan’s beleaguered government, and helped Iraq recapture cities from IS. In the parts of the world to which he pays little attention, such as Africa, an understaffed version of the previous administration’s policy continues on autopilot. As Mr Trump makes a 12-day visit to Asia, it is hard to dismiss him as a man wholly disengaged from the world. 

beleaguered:困難[非難, 反対]に遭っている
on automatic pilot:〈動作などが〉(慣れなどのため)自動的に動いて, 惰性で.

Many people find reassurance in the sober, capable military men who surround him (see article). His chief of staff, his defence secretary and his national security adviser all understand the horrors of war and will stop him from doing anything rash, the argument goes. Optimists even speculate that he might emulate Ronald Reagan, by shaking up the diplomatic establishment, restoring America’s military muscle and projecting such strength abroad that a frightened, overstretched North Korea will crumble like the Soviet Union. Others confidently predict that even if he causes short-term damage to America’s standing in the world, Mr Trump will be voted out in 2020 and things will return to normal.

eassurance:安心; 安心させる言葉, 励まし
emulate :見習う
crumble:ぼろぼろに崩れる, 粉々になる

Reagan, he ain’t
All this is wishful thinking. On security, Mr Trump has avoided some terrible mistakes. He has not started a needless row with China over Taiwan’s ambiguous status, as he once threatened to do. Congress and the election-hacking scandal prevented him from pursuing a grand bargain with Vladimir Putin that might have left Russia’s neighbours at the Kremlin’s mercy. And he has apparently coaxed China to exert a little more pressure on North Korea to stop expanding its nuclear arsenal. 

ambiguous:an ambiguous position 不明確な立場.
grand bargain:重要な取引
at As mércy:Aのなすがままに(なって), Aの言いなりに(なって), Aに左右されて
coaxed :を(穏やかに)説得する
exert:They exerted strong pressure on me to cancel the contract. 彼らは私にその契約を破棄するよう圧力をかけた

However, he has made some serious errors, too, such as undermining the deal with Iran that curbs its ability to make nuclear bombs. And his instincts are atrocious. He imagines he has nothing to learn from history. He warms to strongmen, such as Mr Putin and Xi Jinping. His love of generals is matched by a disdain for diplomats—he has gutted the State Department, losing busloads of experienced ambassadors.

warms:I warmed to Ben from the beginning . 最初から僕はベンに好印象をもった.
gutted:の根幹を崩す, …を骨抜きにする.

His tweeting is no joke: he undermines and contradicts his officials without warning, and makes reckless threats against Kim Jong Un, whose paranoia needs no stoking. Furthermore, Mr Trump has yet to be tested by a crisis. Level-headed generals may advise him, but he is the commander-in-chief, with a temperament that alarms friend and foe alike. 

stoking:〈欲望・怒りなど〉をかき立てる, あおる, …に火をつける(up).

On trade, he remains wedded to a zero-sum view of the world, in which exporters “win” and importers “lose”. (Are the buyers of Ivanka Trump-branded clothes and handbags, which are made in Asia, losers?) Mr Trump has made clear that he favours bilateral deals over multilateral ones, because that way a big country like America can bully small ones into making concessions. The trouble with this approach is twofold. 


First, it is deeply unappealing to small countries, which by the way also have protectionist lobbies to overcome. Second, it would reproduce the insanely complicated mishmash of rules that the multilateral trade system was created to simplify and trim. The Trump team probably will not make a big push to disrupt global trade until tax reform has passed through Congress. But when and if that happens, all bets are off—NAFTA is still in grave peril.

insanely:狂って; 異常に; 無茶に.
mishmash:ごたまぜ, 寄せ集め; 有象無象(の輩).
all bets are off:賭が中止になる 全てが白紙に戻る、全てが帳消しになる

Ideas matter
Perhaps the greatest damage that Mr Trump has done is to American soft power. He openly scorns the notion that America should stand up for universal values such as democracy and human rights. Not only does he admire dictators; he explicitly praises thuggishness, such as the mass murder of criminal suspects in the Philippines. He does so not out of diplomatic tact, but apparently out of conviction. This is new. Previous American presidents supported despots for reasons of cold-war realpolitik. (“He’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard,” as Harry Truman is reputed to have said of an anti-communist tyrant in Nicaragua.) Mr Trump’s attitude seems more like: “He’s a bastard. Great!” 

scorns:Ann scorned the proposal. アンはその申し入れを受け入れることを拒んだ.
tact:(人の感情を害さない)機転, 気配り, そつのなさ
conviction:(確固たる)信念, 確信(belief) 
bastard:いやなやつ, ひどいやつ
reputed:She's reputed to be the best doctor. 彼女は最高の医師だとの評判だ.

This repels America’s liberal allies, in Europe, East Asia and beyond. It emboldens autocrats to behave worse, as in Saudi Arabia this week, where the crown prince’s dramatic political purges met with Mr Trump’s blessing (see article). It makes it easier for China to declare American-style democracy passe, and more tempting for other countries to copy China’s autocratic model (see article). 


The idea that things will return to normal after a single Trump term is too sanguine. The world is moving on. Asians are building new trade ties, often centred on China. Europeans are working out how to defend themselves if they cannot rely on Uncle Sam. And American politics are turning inward: both Republicans and Democrats are more protectionist now than they were before Mr Trump’s electoral triumph. 

sanguine:Max remains sanguine about the prospects of his company. マックスは会社の将来について相変わらず楽観的だ.

For all its flaws, America has long been the greatest force for good in the world, upholding the liberal order and offering an example of how democracy works. All that is imperilled by a president who believes that strong nations look out only for themselves. By putting “America First”, he makes it weaker, and the world worse off. 




swingby_blog at 19:07コメント(0) 


習近平とトランプは親しく見えるが、反米感情の動きが中国にある。 2つの偉大な権力が極めて異なった夢を持っている。

Xi and Trump look friendly, but anti-US feeling stirs in China
The two great powers have very different dreams
Nov 9th 2017 | BEIJING


CHINA’S leader, Xi Jinping, welcomed Donald Trump on the American president’s first visit to Beijing like a Chinese emperor receiving a barbarian potentate, with a mixture of flattery and disdain. The government closed to the public the 9,000-room Forbidden City—the vermilion-walled former imperial palace at the heart of Beijing—so the visitor could have his own tour and dinner there. The courtiers of the Communist Party have lost little of the ancient art of feigned deference. 

potentate:(絶対権限を持つ)統治者, 君主, 支配者; 権力者.
feigned deference:見せかけの服従

The Chinese also bore gifts: trade deals worth over $200bn, covering everything from jet engines and car parts to shale gas. Most of the pledges were memoranda of understanding: expressions of intent, not enforceable contracts. Many concerned things the Chinese would have done anyway. Still, Mr Trump seemed pleased, as he also was by Mr Xi’s (reiterated) pledge to enforce UN resolutions on North Korea. 

bore:come bearing a gift 手土産を持ってやって来る
memoranda:mem・o・ran・dum 複-da  覚書契約(書)

The question is how long the summit’s bonhomie will last. Under Mr Xi, China has become more open in its challenge to American influence in Asia. The official media have turned more sharply critical of America’s political system. The problem has hardly reached the embassy-burning stage (angry crowds last surrounded the American embassy in Beijing in 1999, after NATO’s mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade). But there is a whiff of anti-Americanism in the air. 

bonhomie:陽気な親しみ, 気さくな親切さ.

Mr Trump claims that he and Mr Xi are close. The same can hardly be said of public attitudes towards each other’s countries. A study in 2016 by Zhang Kun and Zhang Mingxin of Huazhong University of Science and Technology found that America was far down the list of countries about which the Chinese express favourable opinions—below Germany, Britain, France, Canada, Australia and Russia. 

Things may have changed since then because views of Mr Trump are warmer in China than in most places. But opinions of America itself are unlikely to have improved much. A survey in the same year by the Pew Research Centre in Washington also found that only half of Chinese respondents were favourable to America—much less than the global median “favourability rating” for the United States of 64% then. 

American opinions of China are even cooler. Pew’s poll in 2017 found more Americans expressed negative views about China than positive. Such attitudes might not affect policy but they could make public dissatisfaction easy to ignite. 

Anecdotal evidence suggests there is plenty of flammable material. One of the most popular questions on Zhihu, a Chinese question-and-answer site, is “Is America preparing to dismantle China?” (the most popular answer, though, is that if China were to collapse, America would not be the main reason). It has been viewed 3m times since the start of 2016. 

anecdotal evidence:個人の見解に基づく(不確かな)証拠.

The phrase “American air is so sweet” has become a term of online abuse. It stems from a comment by a Chinese graduate of an American university who said that “when I took my first breath of American air, it was so sweet and fresh…I felt free.” The remark produced a torrent of criticism in China; she apologised and closed her online account. The term is now used as sarcastic criticism of all things American. 

a term of abuse:悪口
torrent:a torrent of criticism [tears] 批判の嵐[あふれ出す涙].
sarcastic:嫌味な, 皮肉な, 当てこすりの.

For many years, despite ups and downs in policy, China’s rulers stuck to a strategic view that the United States was essential to their country’s modernisation. China, they argued, needed American technology to upgrade its industries and American markets for its exports. That view has become far less strongly held as China’s economy shifts away from exports and towards home-grown innovation. In the past year, moreover, it has been overlain by a competing idea: that China’s global ambitions require a dose of anti-Americanism. 

overlain:òver・líe…の上に横たわる[寝る]; (添い寝をしていて)〈幼児〉の上に乗りかかって窒息死させる; (地層が)…の上にある.
high [low, lethal] doses of radiation:大量[少量, 致死量]の放射線照射

Bucking the norm
In a speech last month at a five-yearly party congress, Mr Xi made those ambitions even more apparent. He talked of moving China “closer to centre stage” and of the country’s “all-round efforts” to pursue “great-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics”. It is not clear what these characteristics are, but it is a safe bet that they do not involve accepting global norms established by America. 

Bucking the norm:(アメリカの)基準に強く反対する

The United States has long proclaimed itself “the last, best hope of Earth” (to quote Lincoln). Now Chinese media are advancing similar claims about China’s system. In mid-October Xinhua, the main state-run news agency, made the case explicitly. In an article called “Enlightened Chinese democracy puts the West in the shade”, it said the Western kind was “doddering”. 

put ~ in the shade:〜を日陰に置く
doddering:(高齢のため)よろよろ歩く(along); 震える, ぐらつく.

It argued that the Chinese system “leads to social unity” rather than the divisions which it said were an “unavoidable consequence” of Western democracy. The commentary forbore to name names, but state media often talk of Mr Trump’s America as a prime example of what Xinhua referred to as “the endless political backbiting, bickering and policy reversals which are the hallmarks of liberal democracy”. 

forbore:forbear  ≪…(すること)を≫ 差し控える
reversals:逆転; 反転; 挫折

Xinhua’s description of democracy’s self-destructive tendencies echoes that of a book published in 1991 called “America Against America” by a professor at Fudan University, Wang Huning. But there are three important differences between China’s interaction with America today and the way it was then. One is that Mr Wang has just been elevated to the party’s most powerful body, the Politburo Standing Committee, where he is likely to be in charge of propaganda (that is, projecting the party’s image at home and the country’s abroad). Having in such a position an America-sceptic who actually studied there is unprecedented. 

elevate:George was elevated to an executive of the company. ジョージは会社の重役に昇進した.

Next, the government has started to export what it calls “the China model”. Deng Xiaoping once said China was not a model for anyone. At last month’s party gathering, Mr Xi talked about China “blazing a new trail for other developing countries” and offering “Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving problems” (his “Belt and Road Initiative” offers lots of cash, too). Orville Schell of the Asia Society in New York says this seems to set up a clash not just of civilisations and values, but of political and economic systems. 

blaze a [the] trail:先鞭を付ける, 先駆者となる.
clash:衝突 対立

Third, the anti-American strain now seems to run from the top of the Chinese state (Messrs Xi and Wang) to the bottom (Xinhua and internet trolls). That suggests such sentiment is gaining strength. Mr Xi may still prefer to exercise caution in his country’s rivalry with America. But he does not seem to have moderated his global ambitions because of Mr Trump. And it will take more than a dinner in the Forbidden City to wish those ambitions away. 




swingby_blog at 21:03コメント(0) 

国税庁はアフリカにおける情報技術のどのように遅らせているか。 あなたがやめさせようとしたいのであれば課税しなさい。

How the taxman slows the spread of technology in Africa
If you want less of something, tax it
Nov 9th 2017


the taxman:国税庁

AFTER a stunning economic expansion, sub-Saharan Africa has run out of puff. Last year GDP growth fell to 1.4%, its slowest rate in more than two decades. That was probably half the rate of population growth—meaning that, on average, its people got poorer. This year will be a little better, but not much. The IMF reckons growth will pick up to about 2.6% for 2017, but even that will not be enough to keep pace with the number of babies being born.

stunning:a stunning victory 衝撃的な勝利.
puff:run out of puff 息が切れる

Yet look beyond the downturn and one can see encouraging signs that a combination of new technologies promises to transform the region’s fortunes. Mobile phones, rooftop solar power and village Wi-Fi networks are helping to compensate for shoddy infrastructure. Corrupt governments are still terrible at building roads, and state-monopoly power utilities are still awful at providing electricity. But tech-savvy entrepreneurs are finding ways to connect people, electrify their homes and alleviate all manner of social problems (see our special report). 

savvy:computer savvy コンピュータの知識を持った
alleviate:(一時的に)〈苦痛・問題など〉を軽減する, 緩和する.

Technology is not a panacea, of course. Drones may be able to fly over trackless forests to deliver life-saving medical supplies to remote clinics. But they are no substitute for proper roads; people cannot commute to work hanging from an aerial drone, nor can heavy goods move to market that way. Smartphones may help activists monitor elections, but they cannot, by themselves, stop autocrats from rigging them. 

a human rights activist:人権活動家.

Some technology may even pose a threat to Africa. Automation and industrial robots are taking away factory jobs in the rich world. Some economists fret that they will make it harder for Africa to grow the way Asian countries once did, by luring peasants out of fields and into factories. But others think that 3D printing and robotics may instead reduce the importance of scale in manufacturing, encouraging African firms to make things. 

pose a threat:脅威を与える
fret:【ささいな事で】くよくよする, 気をもむ

Overall, technology will probably make Africans wealthier, healthier and better educated by dramatically lowering the costs of development. Take power as an example. Getting electricity to the two-thirds of Africans without it in the old way—by building generating stations and an electricity grid—would cost some $63bn a year (compared with just $8bn being spent now) and still take until 2030. But the falling costs of solar cells and batteries, and innovative business models, mean that millions of Africans are now able to bypass the grid and get electricity from rooftop installations for a few dollars a week. 

Unfortunately, instead of seizing such opportunities, many African governments are energetically discouraging the spread of technology. Many ban genetically modified crops, refusing even to accept them as food aid when their people are starving. Almost all invest far too little in science and research, and have byzantine visa systems that discourage skilled immigration. And they tax mobile phone and internet companies at punitive rates. In 2015 mobile-phone operators in 12 African countries paid taxes and other fees equivalent to 35% of their turnover, says the GSMA, an industry lobby. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has one of the lowest rates of phone penetration in the world, taxes on mobile operators made up 17% of government revenues. 

modified:genetically modified crop 遺伝子組換え作物
byzantine:迷路のように入り組んだ; 複雑な; 権謀術数的な.

African taxmen pick on phone companies because they make lots of money and keep excellent records in a continent where both these things are rare. There is no doubt that governments need the cash. Tax to GDP ratios in Africa are still very low—on average below 17%, compared with 35% in OECD countries—and public debt is rising rapidly. It is now above 50% of GDP in almost half of the region’s countries, and the cost of servicing it is onerous. Some people dismiss phone companies’ complaints about tax as mere whingeing. They point out that such firms have grown rapidly despite high taxes. 

dismiss:相手[問題]にしない, 取り上げない 

Yet this misses the point. Phone and internet penetration rates in Africa are still far below those of other regions and connectivity is costly relative to incomes. As mobile phones spread, they speed economic growth and help boost productivity. Fast cable internet may be even better at creating well-paid jobs, boosting the number of startups and stimulating exports. 

Although data are still scarce, there is every reason to think that phones, the internet and the technologies that they enable may together provide Africa with the most powerful tools yet to alleviate poverty, boost growth and ultimately catch up with the rich world. Governments should remember that the best way to get less of something is to tax it heavily—and Africa plainly needs more connectivity, not less. 



swingby_blog at 10:36コメント(0) 



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