February 26, 2006
Sharing responsibilities for Abu Ghraib
It was only some hours since the latest video about tortures in the prison of Abu Ghraib was shown on channel Rainews24, at 7 a.m Feb 22, when the Italian government denied any involvement. The video by Sigfrido Ranucci (author also of the reportage on the use of napalm during the Falluja siege) contains an interview with the sadly famous ‘hooded’ detainee of the Iraqui prison, whose picture has appeared all over the world. The former detainee, Ali Shalal al Kaisi, states that some Italian contractors did play a role in the tortures of Abu Ghraib, by taking part in aggressive interrogations of prisoners and committing abuse together with some American soldiers.
“The Italian government doesn’t know anything about the presence of Italian citizens at Abu Ghraib – they point out from Rome – In any case we absolutely exclude that these people are soldiers or public officers”.
Several national newspapers such as La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera and La Stampa gave the news about the video one day in advance on their web sites. The left leaning paper L’Unità wrote on that day that “Italian mercenaries, too, tortured prisoners in Iraq”, then adding that “these people get paid a huge amount of dollars to kill and wage war under the flag of the United States of America”. The article also described the government’s attitude as “an attempt to avoid responsibilities, not a real denial“.
The MP for the Democratic Party, Ds, Fabio Mussi called for an explanation from the government before the Parliament. But, almost simultaneously, the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was saying that “they don’t know anything and, in any case, if there were mercenaries at Abu Ghraib, it’s not their problem”.
Watch the video on Rainews24.
February 24, 2006
China: awareness of IPR for competition with India
In a recent interview by a Chinese newspaper Economic Oberver, James Gradoville, the vice chairman of The American Chamber of Commerce in PRC, talked about the Intellectual Property Right in China, which he said has brought damages to many memebers of the Chamber. James said Chinese government should play an active role to resolve this problem.
Not long after that, on Feb. 23, China Vice Premier Wu Yi "vowed to intensify her fight against illegally copied goods -- not to fend off complaints from Washington but to spur her own country's ambitions to become a technological power," according to a report by Reuters.
Reuters also said a report issued this month by the United States Trade Representative Rob Portman that promised concerted action."IPR protection is one of China's greatest shortcomings," said the report. "The volume of counterfeit goods from China seized at the U.S. border continues to rise."
This IPR issue, among many others related to China's crippled legal system, has become a critical issue for American companies doing business in China, esp. at a time when India boasts its more completed and westernized legal framework to attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
According to a Financial Times report on Feb. 22, India could achieve sustained economic growth rates of up to 10 per cent – at which it would keep step with China – if the government quickened the pace of reform, as predicted by the International Monetary Fund in Feb.21 released a report.