Archive for ‘NewsWeek’

March 23, 2009

Lula Wants to Fight

Invigorated by the crisis, Brazil’s president says he’s praying for Obama.
Fareed Zakaria
From the magazine issue dated Mar 30, 2009

Once a leftist firebrand, brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva turned to free-market liberalism and helped make his country Latin America’s biggest economic success. Earlier this month he became the first Latin leader to visit President Barack Obama at the White House, and in April he’ll head to London for the G20 summit on the global financial crisis. He met with NEWSWEEK’s Fareed Zakaria in New York. Excerpts:
Zakaria:Your meeting with President Obama went longer than expected. What did you talk about?
Da Silva: We talked a lot about the economic crisis. We also decided to create a working group between the U.S. and Brazil to participate in the G20 summit meeting. I told Obama that I’m praying more for him than I pray for myself, because he has much more delicate problems than I. He left a huge impression on me, and he has everything it takes to build a new image for the U.S. with relation to the rest of the world.
You got on pretty well with President Bush. How are they different?
Look, I did have a good relationship with President Bush, it’s true. But there are political problems, cultural problems, energy-grid problems, and I hope that President Obama will be the next step forward. I believe that Obama doesn’t have to be so concerned with the Iraq War. This will permit him to explore the possibility of building peace policies where there is no war, which is Latin America and Africa.
You are probably the most popular leader in the world, with an 80 percent approval rating. Why?
Brazil is a country that has rich people, as you have in New York City. But we also have poor people, like in Bangladesh. So we tried to prove it was possible to develop economic growth while simultaneously improving income distribution. In six years we have lifted 20 million people out of poverty and into the middle class, brought electricity into 10 million households and incr eased the minimum wage every year. All without hurting anyone, without insulting anyone, without picking fights. The poor person in Brazil is now less poor. And this is everything we want.
There are people who credit high oil, gas and agriculture prices. Can you manage with prices going down rather than up?
The recent discovery of oil is very important, because part of the oil we find will help resolve the problem of poverty and the problem of education. Brazil does not want to become an exporter of crude oil. We want to be a country that exports oil byproducts—more gasoline, high-quality oil. The investments were calculated at the price of $35 per barrel. Now, at $40, we still have enough margin.
Critics say that during this period of high commodity prices, you did not position Brazil to move economically up to the next level.
This doesn’t make sense. When I became president of Brazil, the public debt was 55 percent of GDP. Today it is 35 percent. Inflation was 12 percent, and today it’s 4.5 percent. We have economic stability. Our exports have quadrupled. The fact is that the growth of the Brazilian economy is the highest it has been in 30 years.
Will Brazil’s economy grow this year?
I’m convinced we’ll reach the end of the year with a positive growth rate. But we did not foresee that the crisis would have either the size or the depth that it has today in t he U.S. Now we need new political decisions that depend on the rich countries’ governments. How are we going to reestablish credit, reestablish the American consumer and the European consumer? Now we have to prove we are worthy.
I was even getting a little bit disappointed in political life. I’ve already had my sixth year of my term, and you start getting tired. But this crisis is almost like something—a provocative thing for us, to wake us up. It’s giving me enthusiasm. I want to fight. The more crises, the more investment you have to make. So we’re investing today in what we never invested in for the last 30 years, in railroads, highways, waterways, dams, bridges, airports, ports, housing projects, basic sanitation. We have to be bold, because in Brazil we have many things to do that in other countries were already done many years ago.
Last December you had a meeting of the 33 countries of the Americas except the United States. Why? It seemed that the United States was pointedly excluded.
We have never had such a meeting among only the Latin American and Caribbean countries. So it was necessary to have this meeting without super economic powers, a meeting of countries that face the same problems.
You’ve said you hope this crisis will change the politics of the world, to give countries like Brazil and India and China a greater say. What specifically—what power do you want that you don’t have now for Brazil?
We want to have much more influence in world politics. For example, we want that the multilateral financial institutions not be open only to the Americans and Europeans—institutions like the IMF and World Bank. We want more continents to participate in the Security Council. Brazil should have a seat, and the African continent should have one or two.
You are regarded as a great symbol of democracy in the Americas. And yet some people say you have been quiet as Hugo Chávez has destroyed democracy in Venezuela. Why not speak out? If Brazil wants a greater role in the world, wouldn’t that be one part, to stand for certain values?
Well, maybe we cannot agree with Venezuelan democracy, but no one can say that there is no democracy in Venezuela. He has been through five, six elections. I’ve only had two.
He has gangs out on the street. This is not real democracy.
Look, we have to respect the local cultures, the political traditions of each country. Given that I have 84 percent support in the public-opinion polls, I could propose an amendment to the Constitution for a third term. I don’t believe in that. But Chávez wanted to stay … I believe that changing the president is important for the strengthening of democracy itself.

February 19, 2009

Pakistani honey project wins World Challenge 08

Dear Friends and Supporters,

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Hashoo Foundation’sWomen Empowerment through Honey Bee Farming Project” – Plan Bee – is the winner of the prestigious BBC

World Challenge 08 Competition.

The Hashoo Foundation Team, its Board of Directors, and the Women Beekeepers in the Northern Areas of Pakistan would like to thank you for taking the time to vote and participate

in this remarkable success.  Your contribution will help improve the economic and social well being of the Beekeepers and their families in the remote regions of Pakistan.

The World Challenge 08 Final Competition and Award Ceremony will be broadcast on BBC World News on Sunday, December 21 at 7:30 AM; 3:30 PM; and 9:30 PM Central Time.

Please check the schedule for your Time Zone in the link below.

The World Challenge Awards Supplement will be published in Newsweek Magazine and will be available on Monday, December 22nd.

Thank you again for supporting the Hashoo Foundation. Your vote truly made the difference!

With sincere gratitude,


Cristal Montañéz Baylor
Executive Director
Hashoo Foundation USA

BBC World News Press Office

Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ

Pakistani honey project wins World Challenge 08

P1010090London, 19 December 2008. This Saturday (20 December) BBC World News broadcasts the final programme of the World Challenge 08 series, announcing Plan Bee as the winner. The Pakistani project helps female beekeepers boost their income by selling high quality honey.

The northern areas of Pakistan are among the poorest and most isolated regions in the country. Effective development assistance has yet to reach these hilly, remote areas and it is the women and children who are most affected. The only workable and sustainable solution is to capitalise on local resources, building on what is achievable as well as culturally acceptable. Established by the Hashoo Foundation, Plan Bee enables honeybee farmers to earn more than twice the price they would in the local market, while making the most of their skills and environment without placing pressure on the local ecosystem.

World Challenge is a major global competition that rewards businesses and projects that put something back into their communities. It is run by BBC World News, the BBC’s international news and information television channel, and Newsweek, the weekly global current affairs magazine, in association with Shell. Now in its fourth year World Challenge is still popular, with more than 71,000 people around the world voting online for their favourite finalist in the 2008 competition.

A special programme airs on BBC World News this weekend, showcasing the awards ceremony hosted by the BBC’s Zeinab Badawi, where Plan Bee receive a US$20,000 prize grant from Shell.

Two runner-up projects are each awarded US$10,000 by Shell. First runner-up is Agriculture School, which trains young people from rural Paraguay how to use sustainable and organic agriculture to generate income. Second runner-up is Shanti Sewa Griha, a Nepalese initiative dedicated to giving leprosy victims and others afflicted by disease and physical disability, a productive place in society.

Paul Gibbs, Head of Programmes, BBC World News says: “The quality of the projects and businesses featured in World Challenge should inspire many other entrepreneurs. Its continued success and popularity demonstrates the increasing international awareness and interest in outstanding global initiatives in the field of sustainable development. BBC World News is extremely proud of World Challenge.”

Rhona Murphy, Publisher and Managing Director, Newsweek International says: “World Challenge 08 has shown that the efforts of ordinary men and women all over the globe can make a huge difference, reinvigorating our communities while helping to restore the Earth. We are proud to collaborate with Shell and BBC World News on this innovative, solution-oriented programme.”

Roxanne Decyk, Director of Corporate Affairs, Shell says: “This year’s winner is a shining example of how a business can harness natural resources in a manner which is sustainable and benefits the wider community. All finalists this year have demonstrated innovative ways of tackling health, employment and environmental challenges in their communities, and World Challenge recognises their achievements. We look forward to continuing to support this inspiring competition.”


For further information contact:

BBC World News Press Office

Tel: + 44 208 433 2419


Jan Angilella, Newsweek
Tel:   + 1 212 445 5638

June 18, 2007

Energy: The New Nuclear Power Boom

Nuclear power died in the last century, but things have changed since then. World leaders are now taking a second look at the atom

By Fred Guterl

Newsweek International

Feb. 6, 2006 issue – The story of nuclear power seems to have begun and ended in the 20th century. First came the fireworks—two atom bombs that ended a world war and announced vast stores of energy in the fine structure of the atom. Then came a new industry that promised electricity “too cheap to meter,” but instead foundered on high costs and inexcusable accidents. Its epitaph was written in the 1980s, when only the blind or the biased could still have believed that the hundreds of billions of dollars invested in nuclear power was money well spent.

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June 18, 2007

China Leaps Forward

The people’s republic is embarking on the world’s biggest nuclear building spree.


Newsweek International

Feb. 6, 2006 issue – American businessman Edwin deSteiguer Snead went to China seeking a future for nuclear energy. He’s pretty sure he found it. On a recent bitterly cold day, Snead took a ride out to a military zone northwest of Beijing, not far from one of the most well-known sections of China’s Great Wall. In the spartan lobby of an unassuming concrete office building that contains the control center of a nuclear reactor, Snead studied a model of the reactor, housed in a hillside at the site. Nuclear scientist Chang Wei pointed at the model, which looked like a basement furnace split down the middle, and explained how the design—including 27,000 balls of uranium wrapped in layers of super-strong silicon carbide, ceramic material and graphite—makes it physically impossible for the reactor to do anything but shut down if something goes wrong; the dangerous uranium would be trapped inside the spheres, which have a melting point much higher than the temperature inside the reactor could ever reach.

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