Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 05-31-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Iraq no longer exists. Many of the Arab states around Iraq are more anti-Shiite than they are anti-ISIS. ISIS gets support from the discontent of Sunnis who feel persecuted by the Shiite and Alawite governments of Iraq and Syria.
  • Britain that has lost its special relationship with the US for complicated reasons, including the increasing importance of Asia, and a Europe not in as much crisis as it was in the Cold War.

Iraqi pollster Munqith al-Dagher says over 90% of Iraqis in Sunni predominant areas regard ISIS as a terrorist organization but ISIS has capitalized on the discontent Sunnis felt with the central Iraqi government.

Mark Hertling at CNN said ISIS’s use of infiltration, assassination, and intimidation in big cities and smaller towns allows them to get a support structure where they will continue to flow their logistics which supports their operations.

Michael O’Hanlon at Brookings said the most fanatical guys win – and that is ISIS and not the Iraqi army.

The Pew Research Center reports:

  • Self-described Christians in the US declined from 78.4% of the population to 70.6% in just 7 years, while atheists and agnostics et al increased to 22.8% from 16.1%. The decline was across the board in age, race, education and geography. By 2050, the proportion of Christians in the US will have declined but remain the majority, while the number of non-religious Americans will rise to over 25%.
  • By 2050, Christians in developed countries, including the UK and Australia, will significantly decline to below majority status: in France and New Zealand, the religiously unaffiliated will become the largest sector.
  • Worldwide, the numbers of Christians and Muslims will keep up with population growth or better, while the non-religious share will decline due to religion thriving in developing countries, like sub-Saharan Africa, where birthrates are high.
  • In 2010, Christianity was the most popular religion followed by Islam. In 2050, Islam will almost equal Christianity.
  • In 2050, only 10% of Europe’s population will be Muslim.
  • Outside of the US and Europe, economic development has not contributed to a drop in religious faith.

The Week reports that only 18% of Catholics in Ireland attended mass every week in 2011, versus almost 90% in 1984.

Jan Eliasson at the UN said:

  • Global water use has risen at double the rate of population growth.
  • Competition for water will increase and lead to conflict, full-on wars over water. ISIS uses water as a weapon.
  • The problems over border rivers affecting two countries are growing, e.g. electricity generation versus irrigation – Egypt vs. Ethiopia, Tajikistan vs. Uzbekistan.
  • The challenge for clean water is bigger for developing countries than in the rural areas.
  • We have to seriously look at the price of water, which we have taken for granted.
  • 1,000 children under age 5 die every day because of lack of water and lack of sanitation.

Nathan Myhrvold at Intellectual Ventures said:

  • In 1908, an asteroid luckily hit in Siberia and devastated hundreds of square miles, and was bigger than the largest ever atomic explosion on earth. If it had hit in Europe, the US, or even in the middle of the ocean, the whole 20th century would have been shaped by the event.
  • In 2013, an asteroid hit in Chelyabinsk, Russia but luckily came in at only 18 degrees above the horizon and so exploded in the upper atmosphere, breaking a million windows and causing 1,500 injuries. At a steeper angle, it would have killed a million people.
  • We put very little resources into finding asteroids. If an asteroid is only a week away, then we can only party – if  small, we might be able to evacuate the area. If the asteroid is further out, we have, or could develop, the technology to meet and nudge it.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1505/31/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 08-17-14

Salient to Investors:

  • Mark Lynch at George Washington University said history shows that in a chaotic, violent civil war such as in Syria, US intervention would have had little effect other than to extend and exacerbate the conflict.
  • David Kilcullen at Caerus Associates said American air power will successfully blunt any further expansion of ISIS to capture cities but to roll them back from where they are now with air power alone will be very difficult. Kilcullen said ISIS is the greater threat than Assad.
  • Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said ISIS is a global threat, not just a Middle Eastern threat, while Assad is only a local threat. Haass said that, unlike al Qaeda, ISIS is not content just to destroy but wants to create, which is dangerous for us and all the people in the Middle East.
  • Emma Sky at Yale said that the only people who can defeat ISIS are Sunnis and they are a long way from that. Sky said ordinary people across the Middle East want what all people want – to live in safety, to send their kids to school, to be able to earn a living.
  • Shadi Hamid at Brookings said the rise of ISIS is tied more to the Syrian civil war and Assad is the root cause of the problem – in some ways it is too late and the costs are tremendous. Hamid said groups like ISIS are perfect for dictators, who can point to them as the alternative.
  • Pew Research Center said Singapore has the religious diversity, Vatican City the lowest, the US ranked only 68th out of 232, behind France and Bahrain.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1408/17/fzgps.01.html

How an ageing population will change the world – BBC News 01-31-14

Salient to Investors:

Pew Research Center said:

  • The world population over 65 years old will triple by 2050, drastically altering some countries’ demographic make-up as more elderly people depend on working-age men and women.
  • 87% of Japanese believe its ageing population poses a problem, but only 26% of Americans agree.
  • Most people in the survey of 21 countries believe governments should be responsible for caring for their older populations.

Read the full article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25968269

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