From Volume 8, Issue 26 of EIR Online, Published June 30, 2009

Global Economic News

Colonials Are Back in Africa, Grabbing Land

June 24 (EIRNS)—A very important element of the British Empire and dedicated practitioners of the British system—Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Emirates—have swooped down upon Africa, using their oil and illegitimate offshore money to buy up land. The purpose of the purchases is to ensure food for their kingdoms, while that could enforce mass starvation in the food-short continent of Africa. While a few other nations are also leasing land in Africa, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Emirates dominate. All the leasing is done by private companies of those countries.

Following is an abridged list of land grabbing that is in progress:

Angola: U.K.-based Lonrho corporation leased 25,000 hectares for rice;

Egypt: Saudi Arabia's Jenat company secured 10,000 hectares for barley, wheat and livestock feed; Dubai World Trading Co. secured 5,000 hectares for tea in a joint venture with East Africa agribusiness; Britain's Sun Biofuels secured land for jatropha, a biofuel crop; unknown Saudi investors leased land in exchange for US$100 million in investment;

Kenya: Qatar leased 20,000 hectares for fruit and vegetable cultivation in exchange for funding a $2.3 billion port.

Sudan: Kuwait secured a "giant" strategic partnership, no further information; Qatar set up a joint holding company to invest in agriculture; Saudi Arabia leased 10,000 hectares for wheat, vegetables, and livestock; South Korea secured 690,000 hectares for wheat; United Arab Emirates is investing in 378,000 hectares after already securing 30,000 for corn, alfalfa, and possibly wheat, potatoes and beans.

Tanzania: Saudi Arabia wants to lease 500,000 hectares; CAMS Group of Britain purchased 45,000 hectares for sweet sorghum, a biofuel crop; Sun Biofuels of Britain secured 5,500 hectares for jatropha.

Japan's Economy Continuing to Break Down

June 25 (EIRNS)—The world's second-largest economy continues to experience deepening distress. The latest government figures indicate that Japan's exports in May dropped 40.9% from a year earlier. This compares with the 39.1% fall in April. Exports to the United States fell 45.4%, marking the 21st straight monthly decline. Japan's exports to the European Union decreased 45.4%. And Japan's exports to China alone declined 29.7%, marking the eighth consecutive monthly fall.

The key automotive sector saw further damage as auto production in Japan dropped by 40% in May from a year earlier, mainly due to the disappearing U.S. and European markets. This is the largest year-on-year drop for May.

Six out of the eight carmakers, including Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, had year-on-year declines of more than 50% in their production.

The number of people visiting Japan fell by 34% in May from a year earlier. The drop is being attributed to the outbreak of the new flu, which has hit Japan hard, but at least as much of the decline is due to economic reality cutting into both tourism and business travel.

At this rate, the Japanese will have little or nothing to do in order to meet their wildest, most insane goals in "protecting the environment" by cutting "greenhouse gases."

Feed the Hungry, Not the Bankers!

June 24 (EIRNS)—A few hours before the opening of a three-day conference on the world financial and economic crisis at the UN headquarters in New York, the VENRO, an association of non-governmental associations including relief organizations, addressed the crying discrepancy between bank bailouts and funds for the developing sector. In less than one year, $18 trillion has been granted for the bailout of banks, which is nine times the total volume of global development aid of the past 49 years, the VENRO statement says.

Against the background of the FAO's latest world hunger review, which notes a shameful all-time record of more than 1 billion humans starving, the VENRO calls for substantial increases of funds for development. It also calls for decisive steps to overcome the other discrepancy between promised funds and actual payments which stay way behind: For example, of the funds promised to Africa at the British-run Gleneagles G8 Summit, Africa has so far received just one-third. And that promise was made four years ago.

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