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Unhappy Union: How the euro crisis – and Europe – can be fixed (Economist Books)This month’s preferred reading is Unhappy Union: How the euro crisis – and Europe – can be fixed (Economist Books) by by John Peet (Author), Anton La Guardia.

The euro was supposed to create an unbreakable bond between the nations and people of Europe. But when the debt crisis struck, the flaws of the half-built currency brought the European Union close to breaking point after decades of post-war integration.

Deep fault-lines have opened up between European institutions and the nation-states—and often between the rulers and the ruled—raising profound questions about Europe's democratic deficit. Belief in European institutions and national governments alike is waning, while radicals on both the left and the right are gaining power and influence.

Europe's leaders have so far proved the doomsayers wrong and prevented the currency from breaking up. "If the euro fails, Europe fails," says Angela Merkel. Yet the euro, and the European project as a whole, is far from safe. If it is to survive and thrive, leaders will finally have to confront difficult decisions. How much national sovereignty are they willing to give up to create a more lasting and credible currency? How much of the debt burden and banking risk will they share? Is Britain prepared to walk away from the EU? And will other countries follow?

In Unhappy Union, The Economist's Europe editor and Brussels correspondent provide an astute analysis of the crisis. They describe America's behind-the-scenes lobbying to salvage the euro, economists' bitter debates over austerity, the unseen maneuvers of the European Central Bank and the tortuous negotiations over banking union. In the final chapter, they set out the stark choices confronting Europe's leaders and citizens.

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from The Guardian..By David Smith in LalibelaSeptember 1, 2014 The rock church of St George at Lalibela, Ethiopia, one of 11 carved out of the hillside in the 13th century and among the first to be designated world heritage sites by Unesco in 1978. Photograph: Gavin Hellier/Alamy Kiya Gezahegne joined an unruly, jostling throng surrounding a priest who wielded a 12th-century gold and bronze cross, one of the most sacred artefacts in Ethiopia. A young man shut his eyes and
from United Nations Development Programme.. Today, Kyrgyzstan is a relatively peaceful country, but this has not always been the case. As recently as 2010, political turmoil and simmering ethnic tension between Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities erupted into widespread violence, leaving more than 400 people dead, almost 2,000 injured and displacing more than 80,000 people from their homes. Across the country, UNDP has been working to ease these tensions by supporting efforts to manage conflicts. This has included
Tagged in: United Nations Water
from Ventures Africa..By OnyedimmakachukwuSeptember 1, 2014 Ghana last week banned fish imports in a move to boost the local aquaculture sub-sector but even the country’s Agricultural union has expressed concerns over the planning of the move. Ghana's Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Sherry Ayitey described the government's decision to ban the import of Tilapia fish, which is a very popular part of Ghanaian cuisine, as necessary to spur growth in the budding local aquaculture sub-sector. More than 90
Tagged in: Fishing Imports
from Janah NcubeSeptember 1, 2014OPINION Nairobi — Agriculture in Africa is in urgent need of investment. Nearly 550 million people there are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, while half of the total population on the continent live in rural areas. The adoption of a framework called the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) by Africa's leaders in 2003 confirmed that agriculture is crucial to the continent's development prospects. African governments recently reiterated this commitment at
from BBC News..September 1, 2014 Kenya has started biometrically registering all civil servants in an attempt to remove "ghost workers" from the government's payroll. Employees who failed to register over the next two weeks would no longer be paid, a government statement said. The government suspects that thousands of people continue to receive salaries after leaving the civil service. President Uhuru Kenyatta was the first person to register - he has pledged to curb corruption. 'Waste of
from Caribbean 360..August 31, 2014 PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – The twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating its 52nd anniversary of independence from Britain with Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar asking citizens to embrace change. In her message to the nation, the Prime Minister said Independence allows an opportunity to embrace change and pointed to the Government’s recent proposals towards Constitutional reform. “The passion, interest and dialogue elicited by my Government’s proposals for Constitutional reform have been
from The Cambodia Daily..BY GEORGE STYLLIS AND KANG SOTHEARAUGUST 28, 2014 European rice imports from least developed countries, mainly Cambodia, have soared 51 percent over the last year, a figure that Italy’s National Rice Agency has labeled “troubling new data” in its battle to have tariff-free exports scrapped. According to data published by the European Commission, the European Union imported 254,436 tons of rice from Cambodia and Burma from September 2013 to July this year, compared to 168,832 tons during
from Al Bawaba..By: Bassel KhatounAugust 31, 2014 The very strong performance of pan-Arab stock indexes over the past year, which have outperformed emerging- and frontier-market indexes alike, has made foreign investors increasingly aware of the strong fundamentals underpinning a number of markets in the region, most particularly among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members. This has led to substantial inflows into GCC equities, which has helped boost liquidity. Net inflows into GCC equity markets from outside the region
from Amadou Mahtar BaAugust 31, 2014ANALYSIS A combination of fear of the Ebola virus, weak public infrastructures in three of the world's poorest countries, and a slow response by the international public health community and world governments is reversing real progress in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. All three have had democratic elections after decades of political instability and conflict and, despite limited national budgets, were building clinics, schools and other essentials for economic development. Ebola
from Gulf News..August 31, 2014 Around 45% of loans by Cyprus banks are classed as non-performing because borrowers are seriously late with their payments Nicosia: International lenders will withhold the next payment in Cyprus’s €10 billion bailout unless parliament this week passes a crucial law speeding up foreclosures of non-performing banks loans (NPLs). Around 45 per cent of loans by Cyprus banks are classed as non-performing because borrowers are seriously late with their payments and under current
Tagged in: Banking