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Archive for 18. November 2018

How language problems bedevil the response to crises

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Date: 15-11-2018
Source: The Economist

To solve them, interpreters must grasp cultural differences as well as linguistic ones

Sitting on a muddy floor beneath a tarpaulin roof, Nabila, a 19-year-old Bangladeshi, fiddles with her shoelaces as she listens to Tosmida, a Rohingya woman in her mid-30s. Both are crying. Nabila, a student-turned-interpreter, says awkwardly: “She had it from all of them in her secret place.”

The struggle to tell the story of Tosmida’s gang-rape is not just an emotional but a linguistic one. Since some 700,000 Rohingyas escaped persecution in Myanmar and fled to Bangladesh over a year ago, many Bangladeshis like Nabila have suddenly found themselves with new jobs, as interpreters. Tosmida’s Rohingya and Nabila’s Chittagonian are related but not identical. Interpreters, quickly trained, must try their best to understand another language, and fill in the gaps left by cultural differences—including taboos about what victims can say.

The biggest practical issues concern health, says A.K. Rahim, a linguistics researcher working with Translators Without Borders (twb), a group that helps humanitarian agencies. In Chittagonian, health terms come from Bengali and English; scientific knowledge and vocabulary have trickled down from educated elites. But among the relatively few educated Rohingyas, health terms come from Burmese. Most—especially women, who tend to be cut off from the outside world and denied education—have not been touched by that learning. Instead they have developed their own lexicon. They avoid haiz (menstruation) and say gusol (shower). Diarrhoea, a common camp ailment, was routinely misdiagnosed in the first few months. Many Rohingyas reported, “My body is falling apart” (“Gaa-lamani biaram”), baffling health-care workers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The paranoid fantasy behind Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Having read this, there can be just one conclusion: The Brits should be forced out of the EU

Date: 17-11-2018
Source: The Guardian by Fintan O’Toole

In the dark imagination of English reactionaries, Britain is always a defeated nation – and the EU is the imaginary invader

Before the narrative of Len Deighton’s bestselling thriller SS-GB begins, there is a “reproduction” of an authentic-looking rubber-stamped document: “Instrument of Surrender – English Text. Of all British armed forces in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland including all islands.” It is dated 18 February 1941. After ordering the cessation of all hostilities by British forces, it sets down further conditions, including “the British Command to carry out at once, without argument or comment, all further orders that will be issued by the German Command on any subject. Disobedience of orders, or failure to comply with them, will be regarded as a breach of these surrender terms and will be dealt with by the German Command in accordance with the laws and usages of war.”

Written amid the anxieties of Britain’s early membership of the European Communities and published in 1978, Deighton’s thriller sets up two ideas that will become important in the rhetoric of Brexit. Since there is no sense that Deighton has a conscious anti-EU agenda, the idea seems to arise from a deeper structure of feeling in England. One is the fear of the Englishman turning into the “new European”, fitting himself into the structures of German domination. His central character is a harbinger of the “rootless cosmopolitan” who cannot be trusted to uphold English independence and English values, and who therefore functions as the enemy within, the quisling class of pro-Europeans. This is the treason of the elite, the puppet politicians and sleek mandarins who quickly accommodate themselves to the new regime. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit and Broken Promises

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Date: 16-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Peter Hall

Leaving the EU Without Consequences Was Always a Fantasy

The United Kingdom embraced a political fantasy in June 2016, when a slight majority of Brexit referendum participants voted for the country to leave the European Union. This was already apparent to some at the time. Not long after the vote, for example, pro-Brexit campaigners were forced to walk back claims that leaving the EU would free up 350 million pounds a week for spending on the National Health Service—which is now facing huge staff shortages, partly as a result of the limits on immigration that Brexit was designed to reinforce. But now that the terms of the Brexit agreement have been released, the scale of that fantasy is readily apparent to all.

Brexiteers campaigned on the prospect that the United Kingdom could retain most of the advantages of remaining in the European single market, which allows for free trade in goods and services across the continent, without paying into the EU coffers or abiding by its regulations. At the same time, they claimed, it could be negotiating free trade deals with other countries designed to advance British exports and lower the cost of its imports. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Beginn der Krise der Stahlindustrie

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Dank an B.H., einem Teilnehmer. 17.11.2018

Treffen der GeschäftsführerInnen der internationalen Stahlverbände in Düsseldorf:

Krise der Europäischen Autoindustrie bringt die Aktien der Stahlindustrie ebenfalls in den Abschwung. Die Rahmenbedingungen der EU und der Nationalstaaten wie Kartellverfahren in Deutschland und Italien, Autofahrverbote für Dieselautos in Köln, Bonn, u. a. Städten lassen eine längere Krise erwarten.

Chinas Stahlindustrie wird in den nächsten 3 Jahren 200.000 Mitarbeiter abbauen. Bis 2025 ist ein Kapazitätsabbau von ca. 300 Mill t p.a. Und ein Rückgang der Produktion von derzeit 840 auf 700 Mill. t bis 2025 ist geplant.

In den USA erlebt die Stahlindustrie einen Aufschwung durch das Wachstum der US Autoindustrie und die Politik Trumps.
Der Stahlbedarf ist in den letzten 10 Jahren um 30% auf 90 Mio t p.a. gestiegen.

Alleine US Steel wird 2 Mrd USD investieren Die USA werden auch mittelfristig 10Mio t Stahl p.a. importieren um den Inlandsbedarf abzudecken. Neben dem Aufschwung der Autos wird es in den USA auch einen Aufschwung bei Oil&Gas geben.
US Stahlverband AIST will nach Brasilien auch in Europa expandieren.

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Regulators across the West are in need of a shake-up

Posted by hkarner - 18. November 2018

Date: 15-11-2018
Source: The Economist

Trustbusters are too cosy with their industries and lack bite

When you come into contact with the competition establishment in the rich world—regulators, academics, lawyers —the cruellest comparison is with financial watchdogs before the 2008-09 crash. They are the proud custodians of an internally logical set of rules, developed over years, that do not seem to be producing good results and cannot easily be communicated to anyone outside the priesthood. Most competition authorities are unwilling to be held accountable for the level of competition in the economy; indeed they go further and insist that it is impossible to measure. Given the profound consequences of a rise in corporate power, that is an unsustainable position and will have to change.

The regulatory regimes on either side of the Atlantic have a lot in common. In America, the Federal Trade Commission (ftc, answerable to Congress) and the Department of Justice (doj, a creature of the executive) look at firms and bring cases to court. In Europe the European Commission and national regulators divide the load. The commission can punish firms, which can then go to the courts to appeal. The original laws are short and vague: America’s Sherman act of 1890 has 769 words, and the pertinent passages in the Treaty of Rome of 1957 contain 396 words. At any moment the courts interpret these fastidiously, but over time they have been highly inconsistent. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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