Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

6th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that further support for the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) may be forthcoming from membership of the United States Senate. To quote directly from the official website of The Washington Independent, WashingtonIndependent.com:

Long a holdout in signing on to back the Respect for Marriage Act, Sen. Amy Klobuchar indicated this week she’ll sponsor the bill, which would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Klobuchar is the last Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to back the measure after Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin expressed his support in April. Fellow Democrat Al Franken was an original sponsor of the act…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Frequent readers of this blog may recall that Representative Jerrold Nadler introduced a “Respect for Marriage Act” counterpart piece of legislation in the United States House of Representatives where there is some doubt as to the ultimate fate of the bill notwithstanding the fact that it supports fundamental notions connected to States’ Rights pursuant to the United States Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. Meanwhile, there is also a compelling argument that support for the RFMA as a replacement for the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is simultaneously supportive of notions related to Equal Protection and natural law. How all of these issues will ultimately be sorted out by US Courts and/or the American legislature remains to be seen, but following the debate generates a great deal of intriguing insight into the evolving nature of the United States Constitution.

Meanwhile, in news related to the jurisdictions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); it recently came to this blogger’s attention that some international media outlets have reported upon the Russian perspective of recent ASEAN meetings. In order to provide further particulars it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Voice of Russia, ruvr.ru:

The dialogue between Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is actively developing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said following a ministerial meeting in Indonesia. Experts cannot fully agree with this, saying that the sides have yet to completely activate their potential for both bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

The administration of this blog asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn further from this insightful article.

Although this blog attempts to primarily focus upon issues pertaining to ASEAN from an American context the activities of any of the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) in the ASEAN region is of compelling interest to those who follow geopolitics and economics with any degree of frequency. How negotiations regarding the future structure of ASEAN will play out is anyone’s guess. Concurrently, the confluence of economic forces at play in the ASEAN region could yield trade opportunities with the potential for future exponential growth in real terms. As a result, an understanding of the unique nature of ASEAN and her component jurisdictions (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) could provide real insight to those looking to conduct business in Southeast and Greater Asia.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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5th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Economic Ministers from the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to meet in Indonesia over the upcoming weeks. Of especial importance, in this blogger’s opinion, is the fact that said meeting is set to include representatives from the United States of America and Russia. In order to shed further light upon these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Nation, NationMultimedia.com:

Free-trade partners of Asean, in addition to the United States and Russia, will join Asean economic ministers for a meeting in Manado, Indonesia, next week with the aim of tightening economic integration. Indonesia will host the Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting from August 9-13. Yanyong Phuangrach, permanent secretary at the Commerce Ministry, who will lead the Thai delegation to the meeting, said the main agenda was to forge closer cooperation among Asean member states and trading partners, mainly with FTA partners and the two economic giants – the US and Russia…

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this important article in detail.

In recent months there have been many positive developments in the ASEAN region as discussions pertaining to a possible unified ASEAN visa have been broached. Meanwhile, discussions pertaining to the South China Sea appear to have lessened some of the tensions between ASEAN members nations and China. However, as of yet, a final framework for dealing with the South China Sea has yet to be developed. As the ASEAN region continues to show further economic potential it stands to reason that geo-politically dominant economies will show increasing interest in the Southeast Asian region.

In news specifically related to the Thai Real Estate and Property markets, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that Singaporean and international real estate developers have noted their optimism regarding the Thai property market. In order to provide further elucidation regarding these developments this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the PropertyShowrooms.com website:

A Singapore property development company has decided to invest in a series of condominium projects in Thailand over the coming year. Speaking to Property Report, business development manager at Dalvey Developments Noel Goh described the Thai real estate sector as “a very attractive market with high growth potential”. “Moreover, property prices remain low when compared to neighbouring countries,” Mr Goh added…According to one Asian real estate expert, buyers from Hong Kong are increasingly being drawn to high-end properties in the Thai capital. Executive director for investment and project marketing at CB Richard Ellis Rebecca Shum told the Bangkok Post that the city is a “top-two destination for lifestyle” from the point of view of Hong Kong investors. She added that a rise in optimism about Thailand’s political and economic conditions is helping boost the luxury property market in the nation.

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click on the relevant hyperlinks above to read further from this article.

For many, the purchase of property in Thailand can be a cumbersome and somewhat confusing endeavor as Thai law on the subject has been described as rather complex and, in some cases, byzantine. This is especially true in cases involving foreigners wishing to purchase land in Thailand since there is virtually a de facto prohibition on foreign nationals purchasing Thai land. That stated, such a prohibition does not exist in the context of a Thai lease, Thai usufruct, or Thai condominium. In fact, pursuant to the Thailand Condominium Act, foreign nationals in Thailand may be permitted to purchase a Thai Condo so long as that proposed real estate holding comports with the relevant provisions of the Act. For this reason, and many more, some opt to retain the assistance of an attorney in Thailand to assist in conducting due diligence and conveyancing matters pertaining to Thai property.

For information related to legal services in the Kingdom of Thailand please see: Legal.

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10th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the American Armed Forces has apparently traveled to China for talks with leaders in that nation. In order to provide some insight into these developments it is best to quote directly from the official Voice of America website, VOANews.com:

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, began a four-day visit to China Sunday for talks with top leaders and high-ranking military officials…Mullen said he will discuss stalled nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea, the Taiwan issue, U.S.-China relations, territorial disputes in the South China Sea and other matters. The admiral is in China at the invitation of Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

It would appear as though American personnel and Chinese officials are undertaking efforts to discuss sensitive and significant issues which pertain to China, the United States, and possibly the Greater Asia-Pacific region. The ramifications of such discussions could have an impact not only upon US and Chinese policy, but also upon the policies adopted by the member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN, which includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam), the so-called BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), or APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) members. Hopefully the meetings noted above will result in benefits for all concerned.

In matters pertaining to ASEAN it would appear as though that organization will be holding discussions with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in order to share ideas regarding a framework for cooperation. To provide detailed information to the reader it is best to quote directly from the Oman Daily Observer website OmanObserver.om:

SALALAH — The Sultanate will host today deliberations of the first meeting of the working team of economic and trade co-operation between the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and Asean states at the level of experts and specialists. The two-day meeting, which will be held here, will discuss a framework agreement for the economic, commercial and investment co-operation, steps to start free trade negotiations between the two sides after the completion of studies and means of exploring investment opportunities on each other’s sides in the fields of construction, services and infrastructure…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read about this situation further.

Anytime trade negotiations commence it should be noted that well-drafted trade agreements can have a dramatic and positive impact upon the economies in the jurisdictions which engage in such frameworks. That stated, a well drafted free trade agreement takes time to craft and often comes about only after a relatively protracted period of negotiation. Therefore, those interested in seeing positive developments which further sustainable trade are likely to wait while an acceptable agreement is forged. In a previous posting on this blog it was noted that an American Senator recently proposed a US-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in order to facilitate further trade between the United States of America and the collection of nations which compose the membership of ASEAN. Hopefully all of these proposals culminate in beneficial trade circumstances in the future.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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6th July 2011

Inflation can be concerning for countries around the globe. In that vein, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that officials in China have apparently decided to raise an important interest rate. For further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of USA Today, USAToday.com:

BEIJING — China raised a key interest rate Wednesday for a third time this year as it tries to cool surging inflation. The benchmark rate for one-year loans will be raised 0.25 percentage points to 6.56%, effective Thursday, the central bank announced. The rate paid on deposits will rise a similar margin to 3.5%. Inflation hit a 34-month high of 5.5% in May and is believed to have risen in June even as an overheated economy cools gradually under the pressure of investment curbs and other controls…

The administration of this blog asks readers to click upon the appropriate hyperlink noted above in order to read this insightful article in full.

In recent months it would seem as though China has had some difficulty controlling inflation. It would appear that the decision noted above has been made in an attempt to reign in rising inflation. In a previous posting on this blog it was noted that economic officials in the Southeast Asian nations of Laos and Cambodia have commented upon the likelihood that inflation would increase in those countries moving forward. Clearly, there exists an overall trend of inflation around the globe, but it remains to be seen whether governmental efforts will be successful in mitigating the ramifications of this economic force.

In related economic news, it appears that officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are poised to meet with business leaders from the nation of Japan. To shed light upon these unfolding events it may be prudent to quote directly from Yahoo News Singapore at Yahoo.com:

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) — The Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) will hold its fourth annual dialogue with the Secretary-General of ASEAN Secretariat, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, here on Friday. During the dialogue, they will exchange views on tackling business issues associated with Asean”s on-going economic integration, said Takehide Teranishi…

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read about this situation in detail.

In a previous posting on this blog it was noted that the ASEAN community had sent a goodwill mission to Japan in response to events which transpired as a result of the tragic Earthquake in March of this year. As Japan remains a substantial economic force in both an Asian and global context it remains an important trading center. Therefore, other countries such as the United States, those within the ASEAN region (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam), and even the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) seek to maintain strong trade relations with Japan. Hopefully economic benefits derived from the discussions noted above will accrue to the economies of all concerned.

For information regarding legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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19th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the nations of China and India have made arrangements to resume military exchanges. In order to provide further insight to the reader it may be best to quote directly from the Associated Press on the official website of Yahoo, Yahoo.com:

BEIJING – An Indian general led a delegation to Beijing on Sunday as the two countries moved to resume exchanges between their militaries after a yearlong freeze. Maj. Gen. Gurmeet Singh and seven accompanying officers arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a weeklong visit that will also include meetings with Chinese counterparts and stops in the business and shipping hub of Shanghai and the far-northwestern territory of Xinjiang. Such exchanges were suspended by India last year in protest over China’s decision to issue visas to Indians from disputed Kashmir in the form of a document stapled into their passports rather than a stamp. The decision appeared to question the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir and was considered a concession to Pakistan, India’s arch rival with which China maintains close ties…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full.

It is not difficult to infer that a resumption of military exchanges between China and India could have ramifications for virtually all countries around the world, at least to some degree. This is certainly important information for those who live in either India or China. The same could also be said for those living in Greater Asia as the resumption of military exchanges could have an impact upon the geopolitics of the whole continent. Meanwhile, those living in one of the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are prudent to note these developments as both of these countries are likely to be increasingly important trading partners with that organization in the future. Furthermore, it should be noted that China and India are currently associated with the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping of countries which many consider to be of increasing importance on the world stage.

With ASEAN in mind, the reader should note that China and India are not the only jurisdictions that are engaging in military exchanges as it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Navy is conducting a naval exercise in conjunction with some of the ASEAN member states. To quote directly from an article written by Gilbert P. Felongco and posted on the official website of GulfNews.com:

Manila: The US Navy is conducting a naval exercise with its forces from the five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) amid rising tensions in the troubled South China Sea. Dubbed the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (Seacat) 2011, the drills were launched last Tuesday in the Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea and will run until Friday…The drills will focus on real-time information exchange, coordinated surveillance operations, tracking, and eventual conduct of visit, board, search and seizure operation, he said…

Those reading this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

The United States Armed Forces have been known to conduct exercises in many places and it would appear that the exercise noted above is designed to coordinate efforts between ASEAN members and the United States. Readers in the Kingdom of Thailand may note that the United States routinely works with the Thai military in undertaking exercises such as Operation Cobra Gold. Hopefully all such endeavors will accrue to the benefit of all concerned in the USA, Thailand, ASEAN, China, India, and Greater Asia.

For information related to doing business in Thailand please see: Legal.

 

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17th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Chinese President has traveled to the nation of Russia for a State visit. It would appear as though this meeting is intended to facilitate greater cooperation between these two important countries. In order to provide further insight it may be best to quote directly from the People’s Daily Online, PeopleDaily.com.cn:

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a state visit aimed at deepening pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia. Hu said in a statement released upon his arrival at the airport that his visit intends to inject fresh impetus into the sustained, healthy and stable growth of the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more.

It is clear that China is becoming an increasingly significant player in the realm of geopolitics, international economics, and finance. Meanwhile, Russia remains a key player in both the European region and also in Northern Asia. Both of these countries have substantial economies. Therefore, the ramifications of Sino-Russian policies could impact the United States of America, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the broader Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). At the time of this writing it remains to be seen whether this meeting will culminate in tangible results, but certainly it is important for those interested in Russo-Chinese relations. The reader may be interested to note that there have been recent announcements that a large Chinese Trading Complex is to be erected in Bangkok, Thailand.

The news about the Chinese President’s trip comes at the same time as an announcement in Britain regarding a new financial policy  that some are referring to as a “British Glass-Steagall” (an allusion to an American piece of legislation of the same name).  To shed further light upon this issue it may be best to quote directly from Yahoo Finance at Yahoo.com:

Finance minister George Osborne announced a major overhaul of Britain’s banks, approving a separation of their retail and investment businesses to help avoid another global financial crisis. In a high-profile address to finance leaders in central London, Osborne also announced that Northern Rock would be privatised three years after it was nationalised to save it from collapse as the global financial crisis hit. Osborne backed the findings of the government-appointed Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) which earlier this year called for a “ring-fencing” of retail businesses. “Today I have told the Commission that the government endorses both these proposals in principle… We will make these changes to banking to protect taxpayers in the future,” he said.

This blogger asks readers to click on the hyperlinks above to read this article in full.

Although geographically small, financial events that transpire in the United Kingdom can have a substantial effect upon the global economy as a whole. This statement is also true in the context of Asia as events (particularly in the financial realm) transpiring in the UK have implications for Asian jurisdictions. Hopefully the newly proposed measures will have a beneficial impact upon the British economy as well as the other economies around the world.

For related information please see: Thailand Company Registration.

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29th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there may be some geopolitical tensions arising in Asia in connection to issues associated with the use of water. To quote directly from a very insightful article apparently written by Santha Oorjitham of the New Straits Times and posted by chellaney on the blog Stagecraft and Statecraft:

[T]he lower Mekong states of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have a water treaty. India has water-sharing treaties with both the countries located downstream — Bangladesh and Pakistan. There are also water treaties between India and its two small upstream neighbours, Nepal and Bhutan. But China, the dominant riparian power of Asia, refuses to enter into water-sharing arrangements with any of its neighbours. Yet China enjoys an unrivalled global status as the source of trans-boundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from Vietnam and Afghanistan to Russia and Kazakhstan…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above in order to read more from this fascinating article. For readers who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to Asia, particularly Southern Asia or Southeast Asia, it should be noted that water issues can be extremely important for Asian political actors and policy makers. Issues associated with water can have ramifications upon the economies, political institutions, and business environments in Asia and around the globe. As regional associations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and nations such as India and China begin to become increasingly important players on the international stage it stands to reason that water issues pertaining to Asia will be considered increasingly important by those seeking news and information about the area.

Meanwhile it also recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is taking measures in an effort to transform that agency into a more electronic environment compared to the current primarily paper-based environment in which it now apparently finds itself. To quote directly from a USCIS Executive summary as posted upon the website ILW.com:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS or Agency) is undertaking an agency-wide effort to move immigration services from a paper-based model to an electronic environment. This effort is known as USCIS Transformation. Transformation will deliver a simplified, Web-based system for benefit seekers to submit and track their applications. The new system is account-centric and will provide customers with improved service. It will also enhance USCIS’s ability to process cases with greater precision, security, and timeliness. In March 2011, the Office of Transformation Coordination and the Office of Public Engagement hosted a series of listening sessions and webinars with participants representing customers, attorneys and community-based organizations (CBOs). The purpose of these listening sessions was to inform USCIS about the benefits and challenges of moving to an electronic environment…

Those interested in learning further about this transformation from the USCIS Executive Summary are well advised to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to find out more.

This blogger is personally pleased to see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), an agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, taking measures to create a more efficient system for adjudication of immigration and visa related petitions or applications. Frequent readers of this blog may have taken note of the fact that USCIS is the initial adjudicator of petitions for the K-1 visa (US fiance visa) as well as the CR-1 visa (US Marriage Visa) and the IR-1 visa. Hopefully, USCIS’s transformation will result in more streamlined processing of the aforementioned petitions.

For related information please see: US-Thai Treaty of Amity or Consular Processing

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28th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there appears to be some further international competition occurring within discussions in the context of the recently vacated IMF Managing Directorship. To quote directly from a very insightful article appearing on the website rediff.com:

The scramble for International Monetary Fund managing director’s chair has escalated into a war of sorts with developing nations calling for a change in the power equation. Most of the developing nations seek an end to European dominance over the IMF’s top job. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the developing countries should be together in the attempt to reform the global financial institutions.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full in order to gain further insight into the developing nature of this situation.

It is interesting to note that this posting brings up the apparently increasing international intrigue which seems to exist as the jockeying for the position of IMF Managing Director appears to continue unabated. The aforementioned post was recently vacated upon the arrest of former Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City. Mr. Kahn has yet to be proven guilty of a crime to the best of this blogger’s knowledge and therefore remains innocent until proven guilty pursuant to United States law. Relevant to that news the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) raised the issue of broader international representation within the IMF in favor of developing nations with specific emphasis upon an Asian context. This announcement occurred virtually simultaneously (in a relative context) with a joint statement from the so-called BRICS nations. To quote further from Rediff.com:

Although some European nations have declared their support for French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — have issued a joint statement in Washington questioning the methodology of selection of IMF chief on the basis of nationality.

Although the BRICS have something relevant to say on that issue, certainly as relevant as the opinions held by the member nations of ASEAN, it is interesting to note that there appears to be some speculation regarding the efforts of China to secure some sort of position for a Chinese national within the International Monetary Fund. To quote further directly from Rediff.com

BRICS said it is time to ‘abandon the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe’. Meanwhile, unconfirmed news reports said that the European Union has offered the post of the deputy managing director of the IMF to a Chinese candidate in exchange for its support to Christine Lagarde.

Again, this blogger encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to learn more.

This blogger was somewhat amused upon reading the paragraph noted above as the scene is placed in perspective as the angling for positions at the IMF can be seen to have the same political dynamics that may develop when seeking positions in other official capacities, in both a national and international context, as competition for such positions can be as political as the competition in the United States of America for an office in the public service at both the federal and State levels. It would seem that under the circumstances there must be someone whom all of these various factions can agree upon, but by all appearances a consensus is far from reached. An inability to find someone to fill the void could theoretically require further discussion.

In political matters of a more national complexion for American readers it recently came to this blogger’s attention that headway might be made in the struggle for equal LGBT rights. To quote directly from a very inspirational posting by the administration of the UnitingAmericanFamilies.Net website:

Immigration Equality reports that a hearing on UAFA before the Senate Judiciary Committee has been scheduled for June 3. I just have to believe that every phone call, every letter, every blog entry has got to have contributed to this. But this is just a hearing – not a vote, and then, even if it gets voted out of committee in the Senate, the same will have to happen on the House side, and then there will have to be votes by the full House and Senate (IF there are enough votes in the Senate to stop a Republican filibuster). So don’t for a second think that our work is done! Call your two senators and your one Congressperson. Tell your story…

The administration of this blog strongly recommends that readers check out the hyperlinks noted above as well as the overall website as it has a great deal of very pertinent information regarding the Uniting American Families Act, previously introduced into the United States House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler. There is an especially intriguing article regarding the difference between passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the repeal or overturning of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), which this blogger finds repugnant to the Constitution on the grounds that it unnecessarily usurps the Several States’ sovereign power to license marriage within their jurisdiction, but it would appear that some feel the more modest measure of UAFA enactment would be a more effective remedy for this particular discrimination suffered by the American LGBT community, in both a bi-national and national context, at the hands of an overreaching federal government in a pique over the fact that they are not legally entitled to dictate to the several States what shall constitute a valid marriage. Six States, notwithstanding the District of Columbia, have already permitted such unions which in this blogger’s humble opinion, should be accorded Full Faith and Credit pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.

Bearing all of the above in mind, those interested in seeing the Uniting American Families Act, or any act like it; become law, are well advised to contact relevant federal representatives as any equitable relief to same sex bi-national couples currently separated by legislation such as DOMA would be better than the current legal situation in which they are now placed. Due to the currently applicable provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” same sex bi-national married couples (even those who have a had a marriage solemnized and/or legalized by a sovereign American State) are not permitted to apply for the same United States immigration benefits as their different-sex counterparts. Passage and ultimate enactment of UAFA would at least permit same sex bi-national couples to petition and apply for substantially the same immigration benefits routinely accorded to different-sex couples.

For related information please see: Legal.

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17th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Republican Presidential Candidate Representative Ron Paul was recently reported to have noted his support for the idea of the United States Federal Reserve selling its gold reserves. To quote directly from the official website of the New York Sun, NYSun.com:

NEW YORK — The next big question on the federal debt limit could be whether to start selling the government’s holdings of gold at Fort Knox — and at least one presidential contender, Ron Paul, has told The New York Sun he thinks it would be a good move. The question has been ricocheting around the policy circles today. An analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Ron Utt, told the Washington Post that the gold holdings of the government are “just sort of sitting there.” He added: “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

The administration of this blog asks that readers click on the hyperlinks above to read this story in full as it is very cogently written by David Pietrusza. It should be noted that this issue may have an international complexion as some nations have taken measures of their own regarding gold. To quote further from Mr. Pietrusza’s aforementioned article in the New York Sun:

Mexico has acquired 93.3 tons of gold this year, while Thailand added 9.3 tons to its national reserves this March. Russia added 22.5 tons in January and February.

This information would seem to concur with information that this blogger has come across on the World Wide Web. In fact, to quote directly from the website CommodityOnline.com:

International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced huge gold purchase by Russia, Mexico and Thailand valued nearly $6 billion. The three nations situated on different regions of the globe added to their reserves in February and March as the price of bullion advanced to a record. Mexico has bought nearly 100 metric tons of gold since January while Russia increased its reserves of the metal by 18,8 tons to 811,1 tons in March and Thailand expanded assets by 9,3 tons to 108,9 tons in the same month.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full and to conduct further research in order to gain insight into this important state of affairs. It should be noted that recently the Head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested in New York City.

Issues surrounding sound money and legal tender reform can be complex and controversial on both the federal and State level. The reader is asked to conduct thorough research on these issues before coming to a conclusion as to one’s own opinion.

For related information please see: Legal.

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13th April 2011

Those who have been reading this blog with any degree of regularity may have noticed that the economies, polities, and geopolitics of the world are in something of a state flux. This is not to say that this is either a positive or negative thing as such events occur from time to time. Therefore, astute followers of such events must be careful about making rigid predictions about how such matters will play out in the future. That being stated, it has recently come to this blogger’s attention that representatives from the so-called BRICS countries (an acronym denoting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, now apparently, South Africa) are  having a summit. To quote directly from a concisely written article by, On Wednesday April 13, 2011, 5:37 am EDT as posted on Yahoo.com:

SANYA, China (AP) — The leaders of the world’s largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture.

Thursday’s summit comes at a crucial moment for the expanded five-member bloc known as the BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, for the first time, South Africa.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma will attend.

With the G-20 group of major economies seeking to remake parts of the global financial architecture, it’s time for the BRICS to test whether they can overcome internal differences and act as a bloc pursuing common interests.

The ramifications of this meeting could prove historic as the countries noted above, along with those that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), appear on track to become increasingly economically dynamic in the forthcoming years.     While reading this article, this blogger was especially impressed by this writer’s insightful analysis of the characteristics of the BRICS countries. To continue quoting directly from the aforementioned article:

The five countries are loosely joined by their common status as major fast-growing economies that have been traditionally underrepresented in world economic bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

All broadly support free trade and oppose protectionism, although China in particular has been accused of erecting barriers to foreign competition. In foreign affairs, they tend toward nonintervention and oppose the use of force: Of the five, only South Africa voted in favor of the Libyan no-fly zone.

At the time of this writing, the summit noted above would appear to be geared mainly toward economic matters or matters pertaining to the economic realm, but how increasing ties among these nations could impact affairs playing out in the international political arena remains to be seen.

On a related note, Stock Exchanges in some of the Nations which compose the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Thailand, have recently announced collaborations apparently referred to as ASEAN Brand Identity, an ASEAN Exchanges website, and ASEAN Stars. In following up on that story it would appear that the ASEAN Exchanges website is now live, to quote directly from the website AsiaToday.com:

Launched today was the ASEAN Exchanges website (www.aseanexchanges.org) that will feature the ASEAN Stars and other ASEAN centric products and initiatives giving investors an integrated single-window view into the ASEAN capital market; a market that has a combined market capitalisation of approximately USD1.8 trillion and participation of more than 3,000 companies. Some of these companies are the largest and most dynamic companies in the world including leaders in finance and banking, telecommunications, commodities, automotive manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more details about these issues and the various exchanges within the ASEAN region as the whole Southeast Asia area is quickly becoming a vibrant economic force both on a regional and global level.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the nation of Laos has recently brought a Lao stock exchange online while Cambodia appears poised to take the same steps soon. Even the developing Union of Myanmar (referred to by some as Burma) has signaled interest in the opening of a Myanmar stock exchange. Whether such a development comes to pass remains to be seen. What is clear is that economic relationships are becoming increasingly stratified as economically dictated by the interests of the players in each of the markets of the world. Those interested in such matters are highly encouraged to conduct their own research and come to their own informed conclusions.

For related information please see: US Company Registration or Company in Thailand.

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