An old argument says that full or empty bellies lead to contentment or revolt. Recent research supports that claim, showing that spikes in global food prices have coincided with the surge of social unrest and political instability seen recently in North Africa and the Middle East. (more)
The global economic meltdown reminds World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy of the 1930s, but, he says, “The crisis today is spreading even faster ... and affects more countries at the same time.” That could lead to political unrest of the scale that produces world wars.
In a move that further complicates the anti-government unrest rocking Greece for the past four days, the country’s two biggest trade unions have declared their intention to go ahead with a planned 24-hour strike, likely to paralyze the economy in protest against government policies and incompetent handling of the economic crisis.
Probably in an effort to calm tensions before the Olympic torch runs through Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa, the Chinese government released over 1,100 people alleged to have been involved in March’s unrest, which brought the world’s attention to the country and left several dozen people dead.