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This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is years old and is now (from 2009) undergoing a marked identity change. Its timeline material on economic history (for 1560-1930) is being moved to a website managed by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, The Merchant Networks Project. This will empty many of this website's pages which have always been in series. In due course, Merchants and Bankers Listings will carry information from the Crusades on the early development of what became “capitalism” in Europe to 1560 or so. As well as a conglomeration of data on modern developments, mostly on modern/technical industry, computing, and for the future, today's climate change problems. The editor's view is that in the context of climate change, the views of Merchants and Bankers (and Economists, politicians), the keepers of matters economic, are due for a considerable shake-up. If this website can encourage the shake-up, and help inform it reliably, well and good. -Ed
Post 1945 in Britain's austerity years, the birth of Britain's Welfare State, and even cradle-to-the-grave socialism, largely shaped by British economist William Beveridge.
1950s: Invention of the computer floppy disk by Japanese Dr Yoshiro NakaMats. Edison patented 1093 inventions. NakaMats has patented 3280 inventions.
1950, In US, the era of "the Seven Dwarfs", small companies interested in developing computers.
1950s, The first computers are released for a commercial market. The first commercial computer is the Sperry-Rand UNIVAC 1. The first (1950) Personal Computer Kit called "Simon", goes on sale in the US. Edmund Berkeley had first described Simon in his 1949 book, "Giant Brains, or Machines That Think", and he went on to publish plans to build Simon in a series of issues of Radio Electronics in 1950-1951.
The history websites on this domain now have a companion website on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).
This website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with some attention to Sydney, Australia.
1950: United nations troops retreat in Korea.
9 December, 1950: Korean War: Australian troops withdraw from North Korea to South.
1950: Japan: Korean War, Communist Party driven underground. Japanese economy takes off.
1950: Malaya: Terrorist murders of Malayans reaches to 100 per month.
1950: Senator McCarthy in US begins anti-communist "witch-hunts".
25 June, 1950: North Korea as a Soviet client invades South Korea.
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More computing history: 1950s, The first computers are released for a commercial market. The first commercial computer is the Sperry-Rand UNIVAC 1.
Computing history: 1950, In US, the era of "the Seven Dwarfs", small companies interested in developing computers.
February 1950: Vietnam: As France creates Assoc. States of Indochina, the Soviet Union and China respond by recognizing Hanoi, ie, Ho Chi Minh's efforts create a legitimate government, the Viet Minh.
The history of digital cameras began with the 1940s/1950s evolution of TV. VTR technology developed by 1956. In the 1960s, NASA found it had to digitally rework images. Cold War technology was also applied to digital imaging as spy satellite imaging systems were improved. A few notes follow e here on the history/development of digital cameras. - Timelines: 1984, Canon demonstrates first electronic still camera. 1985: Pixar introduces digital imaging processor. 1990: Eastman-Kodak announces Photo CD as a digital image storage medium. 1995: The first digital camera was the dc40 from Kodak, marketed for under US$1000 from 1995. In 1995 also came the Apple Quick Take 100, and both the 1995 cameras hooked via a serial cable to a computer.
1951: Australia's first working
computer, the CSIR Mark I (later CSIRAC) is officially launched in 1951, although
its first operations were run in 1949. A valve computer built by Dr Trevor Pearcey
and Maston Beard, CSIR Mark I processed projects for CSIRO, the Snowy Mountains
Authority and weather bureau. Over a five-year period it was steadily improved,
and was moved in 1955 to Melbourne University. Today CSIRAC is displayed at
Museum of Victoria.
CSIR Mark I was also arguably the (first?) computer to play music. Software developer Geoff Hill programmed it to play "Colonel Bogey" at is launch in 1951. Once in Melbourne, Prof. Thomas Cherry developed a program so that anyone who understood standard musical notation could create a punched paper data tape for CSIRAC to perform that music.
1951: Japan: San Francisco Peace Treaty and the US-Japan Security Pact.
1951, October 15: First synthesis of a steroid leading to The Pill (oral contraceptive), in a small laboratory in Mexico City, with Dr. Carl Djerassi, who was using a commercial testing laboratory in Wisconsin, Endocrine Laboratories Inc., with Dr. Elva G. Shipley.
1 September, 1951: Security treaty made, ANZUS, signed in San Francisco. Australia occupation force in Japan to come home.
1951: In 1951, in Tokyo, Japan signs peace treaty re outcome of World War Two. Supposedly settling all questions of any future reparations.
1951: NSW Australia introduces world's first paid sick and long-service leave entitlements for employees.
1952-3: Japan: 4th Yoshida Government.
November 1952: An Australian army observer unit sent to Malaya during the emergency there.
3 October, 1952: UK explodes its first atom bomb in Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia.
4 August, 1952: First ANZUS council opens at Honolulu.
1952 - April: Japan: Occupation ends. Japan regains full independence.
1 April, 1952: Australia agrees to let its UK and USA allies develop uranium deposits at Radium Hill, South Australia.
1952: Coining of the term, "Third World", by French demographer Alfred Sauvy, thinking of the pre-revolutionary third estate in France as he considered the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Vis-a-vis the capitalist "first world and the communist "second world".
1953: Japan: Television broadcasting begins.
15 October, 1953: Britain explodes first of two nuclear devices at Emu Field, Woomera, South Australia. Second explosion on 27th.
27 July, 1953: Korean War armistice signed.
15 April, 1953: Australian Atomic Energy Commission established.
1953: Soviet Union detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
1954: Herbert Simon and Allen Newell pioneer information-processing (IP) psychology, showing how cognitive processes in problem solving and understanding can be explained in IP terms and modelled with computer programs, leading to modern artificial intelligence.
1953-1954: Japan: 5th Yoshida Government.
1954: Japan: Self Defense Force.
1954-7: Japan: Hatoyama Government.
5 October, 1954: Last French troops leave Hanoi.
4 September, 1954: SEATO formed to counter communist expansion in Southeast Asia.
20-21 July, 1954: Geneva Accords partition Vietnam temporarily pending outcome of national elections.
July 1954: Ngo Dinh Diem becomes premier of South Vietnam under Bao Dai.
1 June, 1954: US agents begin covert operations in Vietnam.
7 May, 1954: French garrison at Dien Bien Phu surrenders.
March 1954: Vietnam: Siege of Dien Bien Phu (which fell on 7
Late 1954 arises the US puppet in Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, a Catholic, recruited from refugees of the post-colonial war, and in next nine years, efforts to create a viable state of South Vietnam fail.
1950's: U.S. efforts to contain the spread of Communism in
involves forging alliances with tribes and warlords inhabiting the
areas of the Golden Triangle, (an expanse covering Laos, Thailand and
Burma), thus providing accessibility and protection along the
southeast border of China. In order to maintain their relationship
with the warlords while continuing to fund the struggle against
communism, the U.S. and France supply the drug warlords and their
armies with ammunition, arms and air transport for the production and
sale of opium. The result: an explosion in the availability and
illegal flow of heroin into the United States and into the hands of
drug dealers and addicts.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
1955: Japan: Liberal Democratic Party (Two traditional conservative enemies, Yoshida and Hatoyama, unite to form the LDP. The LDP has held power till 1993. Ishihara Shintaro writes Season of Violence. One of the angry young men of postwar Japanese media, Ishihara later becomes a conservative politician, authored The Japan that Can Say No in 1989 (English version in 1991), and became the governor of Tokyo in 1999. Mid 50's - per capita production levels of pre-war years.
22 April 1955: Australia sends an infantry battalion to Malaya plus artillery battery and support, part of British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve, with two RAAF squadrons there since 1950.
March 1955: Singapore becomes self-governing, and is still separate from Federation.
February 1955: French programs failed in South Vietnam and French businessmen withdraw. A coup against Diem in April 1955, but he fended it off with troops loyal to US aid, (It would cost the US $300 million to hold Vietnam.)
1 January 1955: More Australian troops sent to Malaya, first actions in Kedah.
Circa 1955: Start of period of fast economic growth in Japan.
1956: Suez War. Britain, France, and Israel attack Egypt. Israel seizes Egypt's Sinai peninsula. US and USSR demand Israeli, French, and British withdrawal. Egypt (and Sinai) are freed.
1 November 1956: Australian government announces intention to support Anglo-French military action against Egypt to re-take Suez Canal. Egypt breaks diplomatic relations.
1956: Japan: A full peace treaty with the Soviet Union. Japan's participation in the United Nations approved.
16 May 1956: UK explodes more nuclear devices on Australia's Monte Bello Islands. Second blast send a radioactive cloud over Australia.
February 1956: French High Command dissolved in Vietnam.
1956: Malaya and Britain agree on independence and draft constitution, Malaya is more peaceful and some troops regroup to attack hardest-core Communist areas.
1956: Russia invades Hungary.
Computing history: 1956: Computer programming is possible using FORTRAN language. Later on appears COBOL, PASCAL, etc. Bill Gates is born 28th October 1956. Also born in 1956 is Kuzohiko Nishi, of Kobe, Japan, who introduced Microsoft products to Japan from 1977.
1956: SILLIAC, a valve computer, is built by Brian Swire at Sydney University. The project is funded by Sydney jeweller Adolph Basser after a win on the Melbourne Cup. John Bennett comes from Ferranti UK to manage the software and teaching of same. In UK, UTECOM, a valve computer produced by English Electric, based on Alan Turing's ACE prototype. It is installed at University of NSW. It filled 12 cubic metres and operated at 8,000 instructions per second.
1956: WREDAC, a modified Elliott 401, is installed at the Weapon Research Establishment in Salisbury, South Australia. This computer processes missile telemetry recorded at the Woomera testing range. It had very sophisticated analog to digital equipment to handle the input and very early graphical output, possibly a world first, using modified weather recorders.
1956: Computer programming is possible using FORTRAN language. Later on appears COBOL, PASCAL, etc. Bill Gates is born birthday 28th October 1956. Also born in 1956 is Kuzohiki Nishi, of Kobe, Japan, who introduced Microsoft products to Japan from 1977.
1957: In 1966, easing of an Australian drought beginning in 1957.
1957: US Marine Major John Glenn sets a transcontinental speed record when he flies a jet from California to New York in three hours, 23 minutes and eight seconds.
1957: US shocked with launch of Sputnik by Russia. The space race begins.
1957: Vietnam: The army of South Vietnam does not formally exist till 1957.
1957-1960: Japan: Kish (formerly convicted of being a wartime criminal) Government.
1957: US oceanographer Roger Revelle warns that people are conducting a "large-scale geophysical experiment" on the planet by releasing greenhouse gases. Colleague David Keeling sets up first continuous monitoring of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Immediately Keeling finds regular year-on-year rise. (Greenhouse Timeline)
1957: Launch of Sputnik-1, the world's first satellite, by Russia, ushering in a new age of technology and communications.
1958, First use of the word software to describe aspects of "automotive "programming" by mathematician and statistician John Tukey, in an article in American Mathematical Monthly. Tukey also invented the term "bit" as short for binary digit. The earlier first use of the term "software" was thought to be from 1960.
1958-1959: Kruschev's threats create Berlin Crisis.
1958: First US earth satellite, Explorer I, is launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1958: Egypt: Gamel Abdel Nasser is formally nominated to become the first president of the new United Arab Republic.
1958: Russia takes Cuba.
1958: Especially with surrender of two high-ranking communists, the Malayan communist insurgency begins to falter.
1958: In the wake of Suez crisis, the Blue Streak program is abandoned as being too costly. Britain buys Polaris missile program from US and abandons its own efforts with rocketry.
1959: COBOL, the first mainstream commercial programming language is developed.
1959: At the instigation of John Bennett, seven groups involved in early applications of computing worked together to establish the Australian National Committee on Computation and Automatic Control (ANNCCAC) to advance the design, development and application of computing through conferences and knowledge exchange. They were the Institute of Engineers (Australia), Australian Institute of Management, Actuarial Society of Australasia, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Australasian Institute of Cost Accountants, Institute of Physics and Statistical Society of NSW.
1959: Savage civil war in Rwanda, then under Belgian rule, and thousands of Batutsi (earlier arriving perhaps from Ethiopia), gaining independence for the winning Bahutu, more massacre of Batutsi in 1963 and then in 1973.
1958-1961: China has a catastrophic famine in which about 30 million people starve to death.
1958, First use of the word software to describe aspects of "automotive "programming" by mathematician and statistician John Tukey, in an article in American Mathematical Monthly. Tukey also invented the term "bit" as short for binary digit. The earlier first use of the term "software" was thought to be 1960.
1959: Japan: Free Trade and exchange policy adopted.
1959: 12 September, Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to strike the moon.
April 1959: Communist insurgency increases in Vietnam after a branch of the communist Lao Dong party is formed in South Vietnam.
2000++: With less than 5 per cent of the world's population, the United States uses 25 per cent of the world's crude oil. Vvrrooom vroom!
2000: Sudan: UNICEF estimates that in Southern Sudan some 5000 children have been kidnapped by rebels in the previous ten years. (A crime against humanity?)
Peter Dawkins and Paul Kelly, Hard Heads, Soft Hearts: A New Reform Agenda for Australia. Allen and Unwin, 2003.
1 January 2000: The World finds out the mass/cumulative effects of the Millennium Bug, or, Y2K Bug. Watch for news from Fiji, New Zealand, Eastern Australian on this dread morning. (As it happened, nothing happened!) Was curing the Millennium Bug a necessity, an expensive insurance premium or a scary and expensive scam? (Will we ever really know?)
January 2000: The Future in Asia? An "age-old" Asian dream to build a "Suez Canal" across Southern Thailand, linking the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, while avoiding the Straits of Malacca, has surfaced again by January 2000. (In recent months it was also reported that Asian investors were becoming increasingly interested in the Panama Canal.) With trade, security and political implications, any such Asian canal would take two to five days off voyage-times, and save about $450,000 per large oil-tanker trip. A French engineer first suggested such a canal in 1677 to King Narai the Great. British engineers failed in 1858 to make such a canal with approval from King Rama IV. The French became interested in 1869 having recently completed the Suez Canal. By 1934, Japan was plotting with Thailand to make such a canal. Present-day building costs for any such canal would be about Aust$30 billion.
February 2000: In Africa: By February 2000: Following genocide a few years ago in Rwanda, Africa, husband-sharing has become common in the country, where 11 per cent of the population are estimated to be HIV-positive.
The Future in Asia? An "age-old" Asian dream to build a "Suez Canal" across Southern Thailand, linking the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, while avoiding the Straits of Malacca, has surfaced again by January 2000. (In recent months it was also reported that Asian investors were becoming increasingly interested in the Panama Canal.) With trade, security and political implications, any such Asian canal would take two to five days off voyage-times, and save about $450,000 per large oil-tanker trip. A French engineer first suggested such a canal in 1677 to King Narai the Great. British engineers failed in 1858 to make such a canal with approval from King Rama IV. The French became interested in 1869 having recently completed the Suez Canal. By 1934, Japan was plotting with Thailand to make such a canal. Present-day building costs for any such canal would be about Aust$30 billion.
on the African West
Coast: SBS TV screens documentary entitled: As it
Cahokia - African Trade. The upshot is that there was no
tribe on the West Coast which did not have its own form of
participation in the transAtlantic slave trade. West Coast Africans
admit this on guided tours through old slave trading forts. Today,
Afro-Americans when they visit Mother Africa and this part of the
coast, and go on such tours, are often tearfully devastated to find
that it is not only Europeans who can be blamed for the slave trade
which took their ancestors to the Americas.
By the late eighteenth century, England-educated Africans might be writing on slaving business from the West African coast to people in Bristol or Liverpool. One-tenth of all slaves were provided by Wedah, which was managed by Africans. Goree was often managed by African women who liased with white merchants. One slave market of West Africa did not close till 1906. To the north of Africa, African boys were sold to Arabs for use as eunuchs, the death rate for eunuch candidates was 90 per cent.
(Screened 8 March, 2000 in Australia)
1939: Lost in the world of international high finance since 1933-1945? SBS TV in Australia screens fascinating documentary, Banking with Hitler. On the BIS, an international finance institution which among other things after 1918 handled German reparations payments to Allied nations. British economist Maynard Keynes argued successfully during World War II, when the Nazis had increasingly used BIS for deeply criminal purposes, that the BIS should not be disbanded as it could be useful still at the end of the war. (Reported 4 March 2000)
April 2000: The world-wide GM debate: Lord Melchett, executive director of Greenpeace, in Britain has spoken out against the use of genetically modified food as representing "the most irreversible and frightening" threat to mankind. His view: "You are putting it out into the environment on which all human and animal life depends"... (Reported in world press by 8 April 2000)
April 2000: The cloning argument: The British Government is now deciding on approval for the cloning of human embryos, which may pave the way for creating "spare parts for human bodies" via tissue engineering. (Reported 4 April 2000)
April 2000: There is nothing new about the sex-slave trade... Which has surfaced freshly in Kosovo, where Eastern European women - Moldovan, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Romanian - are being traded. Some are as young as 15. (Reported 29 April 2000 with information from UN police officers)
April 2000: Lost World of international charity: In Ethiopia, following severe drought, "less than 7 per cent of food aid has reached the intended beneficiaries. The Somali region is especially hard hit. (World Food Program report) (Reported 12 April 2000)
May 2000: Author on war and pestilence, William
"It's ridiculous, it's outrageous, to pass resolutions in the
United Nations declaring safe areas and then not provide troops to
Quoted at Sydney Writers Festival, 20 May 2000 in Sydney Morning Herald.
May 2000: The isolated Indonesia islands, the Moluccas (Spice Islands) are now the scene of jihad, (Moslem Holy War). Ambon has become a staging ground for up to 10,000 holy war warriors. (In the Philippines, the islands of Mindanao and Jolo are torn with rebellion.) (Reported 20 May 2000)
May 2000: Asmara, Ethiopia: Hundreds of thousands of Eritrean civilians are fleeing an Ethiopian advance and up to eight million people across the region face starvation, report local aid officials. (Reported 20 May 2000) World Vision has an aid appeal on 13 32 40. Ring Oxfam Australia on 1800 034 034.
May 2000: The Vatican and idealism: Pope John Paul II at a Jubilee for Workers has urged the international community to develop new rules and institutions to protect the weak of society in the age of globalisation. (Reported in the Australian Catholic Press by 14 May 2000)
Subject: Abusive Child Labor Found in U.S. Agriculture - 20
2000 From: Human Rights Watch: email to: email@example.com
Abusive Child Labor Found in U.S. Agriculture - U.S. Law Discriminates Against Child Farmworkers
(New York, June 20, 2000) -- Hundreds of thousands of child farmworkers are laboring under dangerous and grueling conditions in the United States, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today (available online at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/frmwrkr/ ) .
The international rights group found that child farmworkers often work twelve- and fourteen-hour days, and risk pesticide poisoning, heat illness, injuries and life-long disabilities. The vast majority of child farmworkers are Latino.
The laws governing minors working in agriculture are much less stringent than those for other sectors of the economy, Human Rights Watch said, allowing children to work at younger ages, for longer hours, and under more hazardous conditions than children in other jobs.
"Farm work is the most dangerous work open to children in this country," said Lois Whitman, Executive Director of the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. "U.S. laws should be changed to protect the health, safety, and education of all children."
The 1938 federal law governing this type of labor specifically exempts farmworker youth from the minimum age and maximum hour requirements protecting other children. At the state level, eighteen states have no minimum age for farmwork, while in some other states the minimum age is as low as nine or ten.
The report, "Fingers to the Bone: United States Failure to Protect Child Farmworkers," focuses on children aged thirteen to sixteen. Some of these young workers told Human Rights Watch that they work as many as seventy or eighty hours a week. Often, their workdays begin before dawn.
Drawing on scores of interviews with child farmworkers and farmworker advocates, "Fingers to the Bone" concludes that:
Juvenile farmworkers are routinely exposed to dangerous pesticides, suffering rashes, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Long-term consequences of pesticide poisoning include cancer, brain damage, and learning and memory problems.
Many young farmworkers are forced to work without access to toilet facilities, handwashing facilities, and adequate drinking water, the three most basic sanitation requirements. The lack of handwashing facilities contributes to pesticide poisoning and bacterial infections, while the lack of adequate drinking water can lead to dehydration and heat illness. Children often work in fields where the temperature is well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Children working in agriculture suffer a high rate of injuries from knives and heavy equipment. Child farmworkers account for eight percent of all working minors, but suffer 40 percent of work-related fatalities among children.
Long hours of work interfere with the education of children working in the fields. Statistically, only 55 percent of farmworker children in the United States finish high school. Of the dozens interviewed by Human Rights Watch, nearly every one had dropped out of school for at least one extended period of time.
Young farmworkers are often cheated from receiving their rightful wages, and many earn far less than minimum wage. Some interviewed by Human Rights Watch reported earnings as little as two dollars an hour. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $5.15.
Human Rights Watch called on Congress to amend US labor law to end discrimination against child farm workers. The law at issue is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which specifically exempts farmworker youth from the minimum age and maximum hour requirements protecting other children. In other occupations, the FLSA prohibits the employment of children under fourteen, and limits children under sixteen to three hours of work a day when school is in session. In addition, the FLSA allows sixteen and seventeen-year olds to work under hazardous conditions in agriculture; in all other occupations the minimum age for hazardous work is eighteen.
"A twelve-year-old kid can work unlimited hours on a farm, but isn't allowed to work in a fast-food restaurant," said Lee Tucker, a Human Rights Watch consultant and author of the report. "There's no good reason to have such a double standard."
Last year, the United States was one of the first countries to ratify a new treaty on the worst forms of child labor. Congress recently denied trade benefits to developing countries that don't comply with the new treaty. But the United States itself is not in compliance, Human Rights Watch said.
Human Rights Watch urged the Department of Labor to more vigorously enforce violations of already-existing laws, including minimum wage requirements, and the Environmental Protection Agency to better protect children from pesticide exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration should expand enforcement of field sanitation regulations, Human Rights Watch said, and all states should set or raise the minimum age for agricultural work to at least fourteen.
Testimonies from "Fingers to the Bone" are available online at: (broken link?) http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/farmchild/testimonies.htm
2 June 2000: In Africa: The AIDS Epidemic: Some 11 million Africans have been killed by AIDS, and the virus is estimated to be carried by another 23 million more. Some 5000 people are newly infected daily. In addition, ten percent of South Africa's population is presumed to be infected with HIV/AIDS.Worldwide, more than 33.6 million people have HIV/AIDS. About 23.3 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Reported 2 June 2000)
June 2000: Amazon
Petition... from The Net
About 8 June 2000 Brazilian congress is now voting on a project that will reduce the Amazon forest to 50% of its size. The area to be deforested is 4 times the size of Portugal and would be mainly used for agriculture and pastures for livestock... All the wood is to be sold to international markets in the form of wood chips, by multinational companies...
The truth is that the soil in the Amazon forest is useless without the forest itself. Its quality is very acidic and the region is prone to constant floods. At this time more than 160.000 square kilometers deforested with the same purpose, are abandoned and in the process of becoming deserts. We cannot let this happen.
(Follows a request to send on a petition)
July 2000: Is HIV real?: Some members of "The Perth Group', consisting of scientists who doubt proven links between HIV and AIDS, have been invited to Africa to speak on their views by president of South Africa, Mr Thabo Mbeki. The Perth Group was founded in 1981 and doubts that AIDS is infectious. See a recent issue of the journal,. Nature, for more on this HIV/AIDS debate. (Reported in Australia 8 July, 2000)
July 2000: Drought in Israel: Two dry winters mean that Israel is now so short of water, it is buying water from Turkey, shipped in converted oil tankers. There are also plans to commission desalination plants. The situation is evidently even worse in Jordan, where King Addullah predicted last year, "Future potential conflict in our area is not over land. It is over water." (Reported 1 July 2000)
August 2000: In Africa: An estimated eight million people by August 2000 are at risk of famine in Ethiopia. Early have failed for the third consecutive year. Donate to Save the Children Fund on (02) 9299 1711.
August 2000: In Africa: The latest US intelligence summary on Africa reports that "Africa faces a bleaker future than at any time in the past century". Among many problems is corruption. Ms Pauline Baker, an Africa specialist at Fund for Peace, says "New elites are running the same scams as the colonial powers, only on a broader scale." (Reported 26 August 2000)
September 2000: In Africa: Child sex slavery booms: In South Africa, partly due to children being orphaned by the rampant AIDS virus. Reports given to 13th International Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Analogy of a latter-day slave market. (Reported in Australia by 9 September 2000)
September 2000: Bill Gates, head of Microsoft, has just topped Forbes magazine's list of the US's wealthiest people. He has about US$85 billion. His net worth surpasses the gross domestic product of Peru. Media baron Rupert Murdoch is 16th on the list. (Reported 23 September 2000)
By 23 September 2000, as reported in The Lancet medical journal earlier, HIV sufferers in the developing world may be twice as likely to fall victim to malaria.
In 2000: The Taliban in Afghanistan banned opium cultivation in areas under its control after a record 1999 crop of 4600 tonnes. In 2000, the UN says that Alliance territory produced 150 tonnes of opium (to be sold in Europe?) while Taliban territory produced 50 tonnes. (Item, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 October, 2001)
27 October, 2000-May 1995: Britain's first human victim of mad-cow disease (Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, [CJD] see also the bovine disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) is Stephen Churchill, aged 19. By October 2000, the world press is amazed at the spread of the disease in Britain. The habit of meat-eating in Britain is likely to be drastically changed. Might the number of Britain's CJD victims reach the thousands? To date, head of Australia's National CJD Case Registry is Professor Colin Masters. A disease similar to CJD or its variant, vCJD, is kuru, found amongst the Fore cannibal group in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea - more than 3000 documented cases arising from endocannibalism - eating dead relatives as a sign of respect. This practice was outlawed in New Guinea in the 1950s. See report of Judge Lord Phillips' of Worth Matravers on 85 victims in Britain so far, issued in Britain by 27 October, 2000.
November 2000: Risks of an increasingly interdependent world: Both Jews and Muslims in Australia's major cities have increasingly been the target of abuse, attacks, or other forms of intimidation since the outbreak of violence in the Middle East in late September. (As increasingly reported in Australia by 28 November 2000) (The terrorism problem:)
November 2000: Census for 1.3 billion Chinese: The fifth national census of China has lately begun. China has 30 more ethnic minorities. China as about 22 per cent of the world's population, an estimated 1.3 billion people. (Reported 4 November 2000)
December 2000: The public value of email: "The technology of email may have made the world a `global village', but the village is still a medieval one: full of town gossips, gloating prurience, and the simmering desire to gawp at the scarlet woman in the stocks". London Evening Standard: (Noted in an Australian newspaper, 30 December 2000)
December 2000: New Millennium Message:
What Does The Future
Hold For You?
- from the Jehovah's Witnesses at this website's front door...
Consider the immense scope of just a few of the problems we face.
Pollution: Industrialized lands are "causing environmental damage on a global scale and widespread pollution and disruption of ecosystems". If present trends continue, "the natural environment will be increasingly stressed". From Global Environment Outlook, 2000, UN Environment Program.
3 December 2000:
Christmas present for "the third world": Britain cancels large debts of poorer countries, and calls on other wealthy countries to do likewise. (Reported 3 December 2000)
By year 2000, about 40 million people will have AIDS/HIV problems, with an annual death toll of 2.3 million. Prediction of the year?
By 2001, about 10 billion emails are sent each day. By the way, about 27 per cent of email tends to ask for immediate attention. About 30 per cent of email is "unproductive", being jokes, gossip, bumphh, etc. E-mail can take some workers 49 minutes per day to manage.
2001: Kenneth Salt, Report, The Big Drift - The Salt Report. 2001. (Cultural shifts in Australia since the 1970s - utilises data from Australian Bureau of Statistics).
January, 2001, Beginning of Digital TV availability in Australia. It does not take off.
January 2001: Capitalism falters in California: Is this what Karl Marx meant when he said capitalism would fail due to its internal contradictions? By 21 January, 2001, "hundreds of thousands of Californian businesses and homes were left without power due to rolling blackouts. The helpless utilities include Southern Californian Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric. A state of emergency is in place.
9 January 2001: The Singapore Government now calls for the establishment of an Asian equivalent of the European Union, to enable the region to deal with the challenges and opportunities of a more technological age. Outlining the idea has been Information and Communications Technology Minister Yeo Cheow Tong. His remarks include: ideas of an Asian-based challenge to Silicon Valley in California, Asian countries might be segregated with similar, serious problems which cannot be solved internally. Stemming the brain drain from Asia, facilitating international trade, promoting e-commerce, promoting more free-trade agreements. (Reported 9 January 2001)
Historic step forward for global justice: Outgoing US president Bill Clinton has unexpectedly authorised the US to sign a treaty which may help to create the world's first permanent international criminal court. The result may well be an ability to hold the world's tyrants accountable for genocide and heinous war crimes. Some 130 countries may agree to establishment of "UN Court of Crime". (Reported 2 January 2001)
March 2001: In Africa, the uncared-for continent: What are drugs for?: Threatened breach of patents-protection conventions against a drug company by a government, no less, is just one tactic lately used in South America by authorities attempting to cope with an AIDS epidemic. Countries reportedly now in serious trouble with an AIDS epidemic include Brazil, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, and some unnamed South Pacific nations. (Reported 31 March 2001)
March 2001: Foot and mouth disease in Britain and Europe: El Mundo in Spain remarks: "Foot and mouth disease is, unlike BSE, nothing new. It is something we have lived with in Spain forever. It crops up now and again and is endemic in Morocco, just around the corner. Neither we, nor other Europeans, have reacted with such alarm in the past. The reaction now looks increasingly like collective paranoia." (Reported 17 March 2001)
May 2001: Life in Australia: "One American hospital spends more (on research) than the entire budget of the Australian Research Council and is a magnet for Australian scientists." That hospital is St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. (Article by Peter Pockley in The Australian, 1 May 2001).
The open-source movement in computing: 1 June 2001: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says, "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."
Slavery revisited: Weekend 2-3 June 2001, Sydney Morning Herald publishes a major set of reports of various sorts of slavery current in today's world, slave ships off West African coasts, the sex slave trade in Europe, children forced to work 18-hours-per-day in Asia, the efforts of international agencies to expose slaving syndicates.
July 2001: Portugal has recently liberalised its laws on
decriminalising the use of formerly-banned narcotics, from cannabis
(Reported 21 July 2001)
July 2001: South Africa: Internet tycoon, Mark Shuttleworth,
27, is preparing to become the world's second paid space tourist on a
Russian trip, He is training at Star City cosmonaut centre outside
(Reported 21 July 2001)
14 July 2001: "Two ringleaders of the biggest
Indonesian-based people-smuggling syndicates have been captured after
a long-running Cambodian police surveillance operation. They appear
to be Pakistani Hasan Ayoub (who handles people from Afghanistan and
Pakistan), and Indonesian Abraham Louhanapessy (from Ambon).
(Reported in Weekend Australian)
21 July 2001: Lagos:
Children perish on
African slave ship: "At least 150 Nigerian children died
recently off the coast of West Africa on their way to Gabon to work
as slaves, President Olusegun Obasanjo was quoted as saying
yesterday. ... West Africa's child slave trade attracted
international attention in April 2001 when UN officials found at
least a dozen child slaves aboard a Nigerian-owned ship in Benin.
Other problems noticed by the government of Lagos include
women-trafficking, child labour, child abuse and slavery.
(Reported in Weekend Australian, this date).
21 December 2001: On the world stage, Argentina may become history's biggest national financial defaulter. The stress amongst the population is profound, savage riots reported to 30 December, Congress invaded and burned. New cabinet resigns.
January 2001: Starvation is so rife in North Korea that people are resorting to cannibalism. Human flesh is for sale, according to the foreign maker of a television documentary, Carla Garapedian, of Britain's BBC-Channel Four. (The name of the leader of North Korea by the way is Kim Jong-il. Very ill.) (Reported 2 January 2001)
Questions on Globalisation
that famously-polite marketing line from a Japanese car manufacturer in
23 July 2001: Serious problems in Genoa timed to coincide with a G8 summit meeting. Anti-G8 anarchists determined to fight globalisation (including one group called Black Bloc), reportedly ran rings around Italian police. One demonstrator was shot dead by a frightened policeman. Tens of thousands of anti-globalisation marchers strode peacefully. A German anti-globalisation group interested also was Linksruck (Shift to the Left).
11 August 2001: World Bank warns China that it must rethink its approach to management of environmental questions to avoid further damage to a sustainable future. Symptoms needing rectification in China include "weaknesses in the legal system".
14 August 2001: Enron chief
Jeffrey Skilling resigns from Enron, later claiming by 9 February
2002 that he fervently believed in the "energy giant's"
financial future". (See above re claimed "weaknesses in the
legal system" of China. Like, really, who would invest these
days in the US?)
Quote of The Day:
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.
"I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the financial institutions at the rear; the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed."
US President Abraham Lincoln, 21 November, 1864
11 September 2001, Re suicide jet-bomber attacks on New York, and later "war on terrorism", etc. See Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America. Century, 2001. (Detailed investigation of bin-Laden by an expert on terrorism).
Dennis Smith, Report from Ground Zero: The Story of
Efforts at the World Trade Centre. Viking, 2002, 366pp.
Osama bin-Laden, The Clear War Against Americans who are in the Holy Lands. nd?
Jenny Baxter and Malcolm Downing, (Eds.), The Day That Shook The World. BBC with ABC Books, 2002, 224pp. (On 11 September 2001 in New York)
Noam Chomsky, September 11. Allen and Unwin, 2002, 127pp.
11 September, 2001: About US$6.2 billion of IT infrastructure had to be replaced after the World Trade Centre attack. (Reported by 28 May 2002 in IT pages of The Australian newspaper)
11 September 2001: After the attack on New York:
news headlines arising: 8.45am 11 September 2001: the moment the
world changed. Suicidal fanatics now have a global reach. Wall
Street's biggest shock. Reign of Terror. New hijack fear. bin-Laden
named. Heat on Taliban. How the world has changed (forever). "The
Third World War" (against terrorism). Phone records link
terrorists to Australia. CIA arms fuelled international jihad. New
York loses air of invincibility as new reality dawns. Catastrophe
pushes Japan's wobbly economy closer to the brink. (Unemployment in
Japan is soaring as jobs based on seniority and tenure become a thing
of the past)
Insurance experts brace for bills that will hit the billions. How US intelligence blundered. The hatred that drives a zealot (on Osama bin-Laden who apparently gave his last interview to the West in 1996). Signs of bin-Laden's tentacles spreading. Attack should be treated as an international crime. Crime scene a giant forensic lab. DNA may be crucial in identifying New York dead. (And by now, it is thought that the New York attack could have been planned for the past five years.) Mystery grows as Afghan guerrilla leader is replaced (that is, Ahmad Shad Massoud). In Sleptovsk, Russia, 24 Russian soldiers died yesterday during fighting in north-west Chechnya. And from an Australian finance writer: "Globalisation will be the victim of this week's attack on America".
For some information on bin-Laden; check websites as follows: On bin Laden business groups: [a broken link?]
See Imre Salusinszky and Gregory Melluish, (Eds.), Blaming Ourselves: September 11 and the Agony of the Left. Duffy and Snellgrove, 2002, 270pp.
Eric Darton, Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York's World Trade Centre. Basic Books, 2002, 241pp. (This book finished before 11 September)
Somewhat sceptical about reports on the 11 September 2001
on the US? Then these websites are for
17 September 2001: Following its closure on 11 September, New York Stock Exchange re-opens after its longest forced closure since after World War One. Singing of God Bless America. Within a day, shares plunge. Great damage to airline stocks in particular. About $1 trillion is wiped off the market.
22 September 2001: Australia: Financial commentator Stephen
Bartholomeusz writes that terrorism has now weakened the foundations
of globalization. "Globalization of financial markets and
services and corporations has been largely driven by the private
sector, with governments struggling to keep up and adapt to the new
linkages, flows, relationships and tensions the process has
(Sydney Morning Herald, 22-23 September 2001)
(Which might all be a good, succinct way of putting it, but who manages the managers of globalization? Like, nobody? -Ed)
8 October, 2001, At Salonika in Greece, an international symposium on prostitution has resolved to set up a centre for sex trade victims in south-eastern Europe. There could be as many as 300,000 women to be regarded as such victims.
6 October 2001: In Australia, views arise that there will be a 20 per cent drop in global travel in next twelve months. Also, a sombre mood grips international fashion industry with major players slashing profit forecasts.
5 October, 2001: The US has launched an Aust$640 million humanitarian aid package for the Afghani population.
10 October 2001: Australian business confidence is reported "shattered" by the 11 September attack on New York. "Corporate confidence dives after September turmoil".
10 October 2001: Re TV news channel Al Jazeera Arab news ("the CNN of Arabia"), in Dohar, Qatar, which uses three satellites and unusually for journalism in the Middle East, broadcasts what it likes, to the embarrassment of the US and some Middle Eastern governments. News and publicity blackouts in the Middle East are now a thing of the past. Al Jazeera has an audience world-wide of about 35 million. It retains broadcasting independence and was begun in 1996 by the liberal emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani and receives state funding annually of about Aust$60 million. The station's name means "peninsula" in Arabic.
12 October 2001: Prague: Police in Central Europe have acted on a people-smuggling ring led by Afghans that has moved tens of thousands of Afghans into the European Union.
12 October 2001: Sydney is said to be scene of a heroin drought which has had effect since Christmas 2000. NSW Premier Bob Carr said that one reason for the drought was low rainfall in Burma, which as part of the Golden Triangle helps produce about 80 per cent of Australia's heroin supply. Reports by now are that the Taliban in Afghanistan has stockpiled up to 300 tonnes of heroin, which it may use to flood the world market with cheap product.
13 October 2001: US President G. W. Bush also says that US aid to Afghanistan will be improved from US$170 million earlier to US$330 million this year. Bush also says that there ought to be a Palestinian state with the borders negotiated by the parties, as long as such a state respects the right of Israel to exist.
13 October 2001: Computer specialists in the US now fear a wave of terrorist "cyberattacks" (or "infowar") on military assets, electricity grids, transport systems and other infrastructure. The White House has appointed terrorism specialist Richard Clarke to work on cyberspace security.
13 October 2001: Reports say that India supports the Northern Alliance in India. In the Pakistan army, Intelligence chief Lt-General Mehmood Ahmed has been sacked by Musharraf for complex reasons. Headlines various include: Guns and technology collide in a strange and dusty land. The Northern Alliance is said to partly fund its war against the Taliban by "selling emeralds and printing money". The emeralds might fetch Aust$120 million per year, according to Northern Alliance commander, General Baryalai. The money ("the afghani") is printed in Russia.
13 October 2001: Millions of Afghani civilians are now at risk of starvation in coming months, aid agencies warn.
13 October 2001: In Africa: Situations in Sudan are worsening. The UN is pulling out of the country's south after three days of government air raids. Food distribution to about 20,000 people has been interrupted. Oil companies operating in the country are being urged to work for peace; the claimed contradiction being that if they give funds to the government, this makes conflict worse. (The US bans American firms from operating in Sudan). Conflict in Sudan has cost about two million lives. It is said that in British colonial times, to 1956, the British believed that Sudan had the potential, apart from its oil reserves, to be the food bowl of Africa.
13 October 2001: In Africa: Zimbabwe: Efforts by the government to control (reduce) basic food prices may increase the risk of famine, economists warn, partly due to hoarding. Business in Zimbabwe now works against an inflation rate of about 80 per cent.
20 October 2001: In Afghanistan, US-led ground war begins on search and destroy missions. In UK: Makers of jet engines, Rolls Royce, lays off 5000 workers due to falling demand for product.
25 October 2001: Indonesia calls for an international summit on refugees and people-smuggling.
24 October 2001: Anti-globalisation moves?: In Australia, SBS TV screens a special news documentary by Nick Lazaredes attacking US views on free trade, and revisions of such ideas in the "food security" aftermath of the WTC bombing: Free Trade: An American Myth, on US-Australian trade relationships.
31 October 2001: In dry dock at Roslyakovo now rests the doomed Russian nuclear submarine, Kursk. Some 118 crewmen were drowned when it sank in the Barents Sea on 12 August 2000, possibly due to a malfunctioning torpedo. The salvage operation cost US$130 million.
30 October 2001: Despite warnings of disquiet in Moslem countries, US is reported to decide to continue attacks during the Moslem holy month of Ramadan.
26 October 201: Fears arise that Kashmir, India, may become world's next flashpoint.
7 November, 2001, World Trade Organisation meeting scheduled for Qatar.
Special update 2 November 2001: News: Guardian
reports Al-Qa'ida is winning war, allies warned
Professor Sir Michael Howard launched a scathing attack yesterday on
the continued bombardment of Afghanistan, comparing it to "trying
to eradicate cancer cells with a blow torch".
It had put the al-Qa'ida network in a "win-win situation", he told the conference, and could escalate into an ongoing confrontation that would shatter our own [British] multicultural societies.
November 2001: Headlines, Japanese banks dither as bad debts engulf economy. (One estimate puts non-performing loans at a mind-boggling 68.6 per cent of GDP). Item, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 November 2001)
November 2001: Particularly interesting on recent trends for the Net are the views of Lawrence Lessig, a professor of Law at Stanford University. (Author of The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World. Random House, 2001). Lessig views the earlier, more anarchic, non-corporate dominated Internet world of say, 1996, as a socio-political commons, something to which everyone has access. Gradually, via laws on copyright, or against material judged offensive, pro-censorship laws, the anarchic Internet will be controlled, disciplined, manipulated, "tamed".
Lessig quotes Niccolo Machiavelli, "Innovation makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old regime, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new."
Lessig notes, that as a technical Net innovation for browsing the Internet, the Web, was developed by a Swiss (not US) researcher who saw its potential, then fought to realise it. Hotmail (web-based email) was not invented in the US, but by an Indian immigrant to the US, Sabeer Bhatia. Online chatting was originated by an Israeli, who sold his idea to AOL for $400 million. Such services, earlier used for nothing, have been acquired by corporate interests, and so "tamed".
The trends noted by Lessig (see his article in The
higher education supplement, 28 November 2001) are afoot, and are at
one level complicating Net situations that formerly were
free-wheeling, communicative and - somewhat anarchic. In particular,
the shift from use of narrow-band (telephone lines) to broadband for
Net data propagation and reception will be accompanied by corporate
presences - who will exert their own particular influences.
See: Anita Roddick, Take It Personally: How Globalization affects you and powerful ways to challenge it. Thorsons, 2001.
10 November 2001: After 15 years of negotiation, China takes its place amongst the trading nations of the world by joining the World Trade Organisation.
26 November 2001: Headlines: Layoffs all over Germany as recession sets in. Airline Lufthansa has never used lay-offs in its 75-year history - till now.
- Dan Byrnes (otherwise indicated in these pages as -Editor)
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