Interview of Alan F. Neidle by Brian Shoemaker        
Interview of Alan F. Neidle by Brian Shoemaker Neidle, Alan F. Alan Neidle is best remembered as a principal negotiator of the Antarctic Treaty. Soon after graduating from Yale in 1950, he served three years in the Army during the Korean War. This enhanced his interest in international questions, and as a law student at the University of Michigan he focused on international law. In January 1957, he was hired by the State Department, and developed an interest in negotiation. By age 29 he had already negotiated on two treaties, including extradition treaties with Brazil and Sweden. Although still very junior in rank, he was given the Antarctic assignment by Marjorie Whiteman, his boss, a distinguished international lawyer. Ambassador Paul Daniels, with years of experience in Latin America, was named by John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, to join a team of Antarctic negotiators. Neidle was chosen to be the legal representative. These were the years of the Cold War, and there was rising concern about the role of the Russians in Antarctica. The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., a non-political venue, was the site of some 60 meetings that were held over the next nine months. For some months the Russians were uncooperative, but the other participants developed a whole catalog of new ideas and refinements. Some voices in the State Department called for abandoning the project on grounds the Russians would never cooperate. Some feared that they might launch missiles from Antarctica, or use it as a submarine base. Daniels persisted, and in time the Russians reversed course, and chose to cooperate. Work on the Antarctic Treaty then proceeded fairly quickly. Daniels asked Neidle to draft a full text of the proposed treaty. In the end this would prove to be the most important, multi-lateral treaty with the Russians since World War II. Neidle’s initial sentence, the first that he wrote, “Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only,” made it to the final, signed draft. Soon after the Outer Space Treaty was adopted, and Neidle’s sentence was again the lead sentence, “Outer space shall be used for peaceful purposes only.” Article One stated that “research shall continue as before,” a tacit acknowledgement that the multi-national scientific cooperation during the International Geophysical Year (IGY), 1957-58, had been successful. The claims issue, however, was more contentious, especially for the South Americans. The British, New Zealanders, Australians, and French were more open to internationalizing Antarctica, but both the Brazilians and Chileans asserted specific territorial claims. It was agreed that no new post-treaty territorial claims would be recognized. The United States, which had invested more effort in Antarctic research than any other nation, asserted no territorial claims and never recognized those of other nations. For the United States, free access to the entire continent was essential. The Treaty banned nuclear testing and nuclear storage of radioactive waste in Antarctica. The Treaty does not impose any quotas or restrictions on nuclear inspections. Several other articles of the Treaty were mostly administrative and not controversial, including a provision that it must be written in Russian, Spanish, and French, as well as English. It was agreed in an important provision that after 30 years the Treaty must be reviewed, and might even be terminated. In the meantime, any nation withdrawing from the Treaty must give one-year notice. By and large the Treaty has been well received. Herman Flager was the chief negotiator, and signed the treaty for the United States. Neidle was his legal assistant, and worked closely with him at all stages. Without the effective guidance of Flager, a close personal friend of John Foster Dulles, the Treaty might never have happened. Neidle also spoke highly of the essential work of Ambassador Paul Daniels. Various nuclear inspections ensued as a result of the Treaty, including visits to Russian territory as well as Antarctica. Neidle takes pride in his own participation in Treaty preparations, and looking back, said he personally would have done nothing differently. Major Themes Negotiations leading to adoption of the Antarctic Treaty Neidle’s role in legal advising and in negotiations on the Treaty Roles of Herman Flager and Paul Daniels Impact over time of the Antarctic Treaty Negotiations with the Russians over the Treaty Key Names Acheson, Dean, Secretary of State, p. 2 Daniels, Paul, pp. 4-7, 9-11, 25-26, 28, 31, 38-39 Dulles, John Foster, pp. 3-5, 26, 33 Eisenhower, Dwight, pp. 19, 27, 32-33 Flager, Herman, pp. 2-3, 8, 25-26 Kennedy, John, p. 31 Khrushchev, Nikita, pp. 11-12, 27 Powers, Gary, p. 20 Reagan, Ronald, p. 37 Ruina, Jack, pp. 29-30 Whiteman, Marjorie, p. 3
          Responsibility of the UN        
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL SHUOLD RECONSIDER ITS NON-INTERVENTIONIST POLICY TO PREVENT GENOCIDES:

At the end of the Second World War, world leaders decided to resurrect the League of Nations with a new name- The United Nations- to avoid further conflicts that might devastate the world as it entered the nuclear era. The Security Council of the UN is responsible for trying to resolve these inter-state and intra-state conflicts. So far, the Security Council has been successful as a mediator in preventing a major world war, but it has witnessed countless conflicts – often, but not always, proxy wars of the two super powers entangled in a ‘cold-war’ and genocides resulting in the death of millions. Since the primary reason for the inability of the Security Council to prevent genocides is its non-interventionist policy, time has come for the UN to reconsider this policy.

The Security Council considers military intervention a violation of international law – despite tolerating numerous such violations by its powerful members, irrespective of a UN mandate- and is reluctant to use force to prevent any atrocity committed by a sovereign state, especially within its own borders. It prefers conflict prevention as the key strategy. And when this strategy fails to prevent conflicts, the Security Council issues warnings to the countries concerned and then imposes arms embargos and economic sanctions. In case of any cease fire agreement between the belligerents, it forms irregular peace-keeping forces- comprising both lightly armed troops and unarmed observers- for particular conflict zones. Although the bulk of the peacekeepers are supplied by poor countries to earn foreign currency, rich and powerful countries also provide manpower. These peacekeepers are usually deployed, when a cease-fire has already been established between the warring parties, to supervise the cease-fire as impartial observers. They are not allowed to use weapons unless they themselves are under attack. But the warring parties are seldom intimidated by warnings and sanctions or even lightly armed peacekeepers. The central African state of Rwanda has paid horribly as a consequence of the failure of this UN policy of non-intervention.

During the 1994 Rwandan civil war, the majority tribe, the Hutus, slaughtered nearly a million civilian Tutsis, within a hundred days, in order to create a “pure Hutu state”. The UN decided not to intervene and prevent the genocide. Moreover, after the killing of ten UN peacekeepers - who had been overseeing a peace treaty between the government and rebel forces - by Rwandan government forces, out of fear for the safety of the peacekeepers, the UN decided to withdraw all of its diplomats and 3000 peacekeeping troops despite repeated warnings from the UN commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, about probable consequences. The result is vividly depicted in The Guardian report on April 12, 1994: “A few yards from the French troops, a Rwandan woman was being hauled along the road by a young man with a machete. He pulled at her clothes as she looked at the foreign soldiers in the desperate, terrified hope that they could save her from death. But none of the troops moved. ‘It’s not our mandate,’ said one …The Belgian and French troops are here to get foreigners out…Rwandans, including staff of international organizations, are left to their fate” (Huband). Furthermore, Linda Melvern of The Guardian commented on the 10th anniversary of the genocide, “What we know now is that a corrupt, vicious and violent oligarchy in Rwanda planned and perpetrated the crime of genocide, testing the UN each step of the way. It was convinced that whatever it did, the UN would fail to act. It would also seem that France’s intimate involvement with the Hutu regime only worsened the situation” (2004).

Similarly, the UN failed to prevent the 1995 genocide of Bosnian Muslims by the Serbs in the UN declared ‘safe haven’, Srebrenica, during the Bosnian War. Today, in Sudan, government-sponsored Muslim Arab militias are in the process of ‘cleansing’ a Muslim black minority in the western Darfur area, resulting in a thousand deaths daily. The Sudanese government has also been waging a separate war with Christian rebels from the southern part of the country for the last two decades, which has already caused the deaths of two million people. Although Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, “called on the UN Security Council to issue ‘the strongest warning’ to forces fighting in Sudan to bring an end to the civil war in the south and the crisis in the western Darfur region” (Olivier, 2004), the UN is reluctant to intervene militarily and prevent such a catastrophe. Appalled by the UN reaction to the crisis in Darfur, Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch commented, “The norm of international law is still against intervention, even when a government has forfeited its own claim to legitimacy by committing genocide or ethnic cleansing against its own people…We need military forces that can intervene with heavy infantry to prevent or stop genocides when they begin…we need a world movement to prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing, an effort as great as the anti-slavery movement” (2004). Therefore, it has become essential that the UN reconsider its non-interventionist policy to prevent genocide.

Despite repeated UN failures to stop genocide, some observers comment that the UN should continue its current peacekeeping policy of consent of the warring parties, neutrality, and the use of force only in self-defense against any proposals of intervention by multi-lateral forces. A former UN Secretary General, Perez de Cuellar, has characterized peacekeeping “as the opposite of military action against aggression, and non-fighting soldiers of peace as a symbol of international authority providing an honourable alternative to war and a useful pretext for peace” (Currier, 2003). Critics also emphasize conflict prevention strategies since they are less costly options for the international community than military action and reconstruction after a war.

Undoubtedly, conflict prevention by diplomatic means is the best solution; but it requires a consensus among all parties involved, and often reaching a settlement becomes impossible because of adherence to inflexible and unjust demands by the parties. Moreover, according to Stanton, “In Sudan, as in Rwanda, diplomats see their job as ‘conflict resolution.’ Genocide isn’t conflict; it’s one-sided mass murder. Jews had no conflict with the Nazis. Armenians posed no threat to Turks. Tutsis did not advocate mass murder of Rwandan Hutus. Conflict resolution isn’t genocide prevention” (2004). In many such cases, governments themselves are reluctant to save their citizens. As a result, they receive condemnation from the UN Secretary General: “When crimes on such a scale are being committed, and a sovereign state appears unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens, a grave responsibility falls on the international community…” (Olivier, 2004).

However, in many cases, threats of arms embargos and later economic sanctions fail to force such parties to refrain from committing atrocities. In such cases, the UN becomes unable to save innocent civilians despite ‘feeling a grave responsibility’. Therefore, the UN should reconsider its current policy of non-intervention. It should stress saving lives instead of endorsement by the warring factions or oppressive governments. It should be bold enough to intervene militarily when all other options fail.

Some critics argue that interventions could escalate the war, as the UN could appear to take sides. Discussing the future of the UN, Tasos Papadimitriou comments, “I would also argue that we need it (the UN) to be able and willing to intervene - and that does not necessarily or primarily mean the use of armed force - when humanitarian principles are at stake. If we accept that gross and systematic infringement of citizens’ well-being can not be tolerated in the name of national sovereignty, the right to intervene is the logical consequence” (2004). Thus, the UN needs to risk taking the side of the victims of genocide. Such a step will make the UN a target of the oppressors, and will result in loss of UN military personnel, but if the UN wishes to espouse universal human rights, it needs to prove that it is serious in its efforts, even at the cost of the lives of its soldiers.

Nevertheless, some observers think that the UN will still be ineffective even with an interventionist doctrine because of the vested interests of powerful nations. This argument cannot be entirely ruled out. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world; powerful nations will never give up their influence. And since they possess the right to veto any Security Council resolution, hardly any military intervention by the UN will be sanctioned which conflicts with the interests of these nations and their allies. As Papadimitriou comments in his article, “Its (Security Council’s) resolutions quite often have nothing much to do with principle or international law but everything to do with the balance of power within it, being results of intimidation, coercion, bribing and horse-trading” (2004). Therefore, some people advocate abolishing the veto power of the five permanent members. It is a fair proposal, but not compatible with realpolitik. As a pragmatic UN official argued, “the UN, at its best, is a mirror of the world…it is far better to have a world organization anchored in geopolitical reality than one too detached from the verities of global power to be effective (Papadimitriou, 2004).” The war in Iraq has proved that powerful nations will act according to their wishes, with or without any UN mandate, with or without veto power. But on the other hand, not all conflicts are the result of power games between powerful nations. Many are caused by hatred of the ethnicity and religion of others without provocation from foreigners. As Emmanuel Dongola commented in the New York Times, “The genocide happened in Rwanda, but it could have taken place in any of the many pseudo-nation-states that are the legacy of colonialism- states in which the people are more loyal to their ethnic communities than to a faraway central government…” (2004). In such cases, a UN-mandated armed force should intervene and save people from genocide.
It is true that the UN is not a panacea. It is unable to end conflicts where major powers are involved, but it should try to intervene where they are not, where they are merely disinterested because of the strategic unimportance of the conflict area. For such interventions, the UN must form a properly equipped armed force under direct command of the Secretary General of the UN by recruiting volunteer soldiers from member nations.

Because of its non interventionist policy, the UN has lost respect from many member nations, especially from civil-war-torn Africa. One Senegalese commentator lamented in Le Quotidien, “As soon as it was understood that this savagery (in Rwanda) was African, it allowed (Europeans) to pontificate at leisure. How else can one explain the infamous phrase, said to have been uttered by François Mitterrand (then French President) that ‘in those countries, genocide is not very important’” (Diop, 2004). While Stanton commented, “Why, 10 years after Rwanda, has the world reacted so slowly to ethnic cleansing in Darfur? Racism is one reason. African lives still are not seen to equal the value of the lives of Kosovars and other white people, who are inside our circle of moral concern” (2004). Unless this kind of resentment is not mitigated by proper action to prevent genocides, the result might be the demise of the UN, or at least of its Security Council, rendering it irrelevant just like its predecessor, the League of Nations, which was accused of being powerless and restricted only to the discussion of trivial issues like the European railway system even on the very day the Germans attacked Poland and started one of the most devastating wars in history: the Second World War.

Fortunately, Kofi Annan’s ‘strongest warning’ of embargos and sanctions resulted in a peace agreement between the government and the rebels in Sudan. The belligerents agreed to end their conflict by December 31, 2004. However, they have made many such agreements in the last two decades and failed to respect them. There is no guarantee that they will not fail this time. Unless the UN adopts the policy of military intervention to save people, instead of the current policy of only keeping the peace after a cease-fire, it will not gain respect and fear from dogmatic armed groups indifferent to mass murder. A decade after the Rwandan genocide, the crisis at Darfur has presented another opportunity for the UN to make the necessary policy shift. The UN must utilize the opportunity this time and regain respect from its member states, all peace-loving people and the victims of genocides.


References:


Currier, N. (2003). 1988 UN peacekeeping forces: ‘the impartial soldiers.’ UN Chronicle. [online serial], 3. Available: http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2003/issue3/0303p45.asp (November 30, 2004).

Diop, B. B. (April 8, 2004). The world stood by for too long (press review- Le Quotidien, April 6, 2004). The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1187931,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Dongala, E. (April 8, 2004). The world stood by for too long (press review- New York Times, April 6, 2004). The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1187931,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Huband, M. (April 12, 1994). UN troops stand by and watch carnage. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1186807,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Melvern, L. (April 5, 2004). The west did intervene in Rwanda, on the wrong side. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/rwanda/story/0,14451,1185980,00.html (November 30, 2004).


Olivier, M. & Agencies. (November 18, 2004). Annan urges security council warning on Sudan. The Guardian. [online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sudan/story/0,14658,1354293,00.html (November 30, 2004).

Papadimitriou, T. (2004). A radical vision for the future of the UN. [online]. Available: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/reform/cluster1/2004/1024radical.htm (November 30, 2004).

Stanton, G. (2004). Bloodbath in the making. [online]. Available: http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/sudan/2004/0402bloodbath.htm (November 30, 2004).
          Film News APSA report        
Too often in Australia we use culture as something to hurl into the breach after a diplomatic stuff-up...APSA is a very good example of multi-lateral diplomacy, in the best sense, rather than reactive bi-lateral initiatives.
          One Belt, One Baloney? PRC's Silk Road Revival Doubts        

Over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted an elaborate event in Beijing concerning the PRC's idea of reviving the historical Silk Road. Spanning much of Asia and the Middle East besides, this trade route epitomized many of the things China wants to be today: (1) at the center of world trade, (2) involved in infrastructure, and (3) a prime mover of international relations. This, of course, stands in contrast to the retrograde "America First" stylings of the racist-protectionist-isolationist American president, Donald Trump.

Some hackles were raised about the invitation being extended to North Korea, of all nations, but certainly we'd rather have it peacefully trading with the rest of us than firing missiles to draw attention to itself?

More to the point, though, how realistic is this plan? A few months ago, an op-ed appeared in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (usually a Communist Party-friendly outlet) placing the "One Belt, One Road" project's viability in question by way of Japan's example from only a few years back of doing something similar: using infrastructural might to extend not only diplomacy but also trade with its neighbors:
Facing a deep slowdown after years of investment-fuelled growth that culminated in a huge property and stock market bubble, the leaders of Asia’s largest economy [China] come up with a cunning plan. By launching an initiative to fund and construct infrastructure projects across Asia, they will kill four birds with one stone.

They will generate enough demand abroad to keep their excess steel mills, cement plants and construction companies in business, so preserving jobs at home. They will tie neighbouring countries more closely into their own economic orbit, so enhancing both their hard and soft power around the region. They will further their long term plan to promote their own currency as an international alternative to the US dollar. And to finance it all, they will set up a new multi-lateral infrastructure bank, which will undermine the influence of the existing Washington-based institutions, with all their tedious insistence on transparency and best practice, by making more “culturally sensitive” soft loans. The result will be the regional hegemony they regard as their right as Asia’s leading economic and political power.
However, the author Tom Holland delivers the punch line that, actually, the Japanese tried all this stuff before and failed:
[I]t’s actually a description of a strikingly similar plan rolled out by Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi in the 1990s. That too promised to provide work for Japan’s recession-hit construction sector by building Japanese-funded infrastructure projects around Asia. And it even included a proposal – never realised – to establish an Asian Monetary Fund to lend to regional governments on easier terms than either the IMF or World Bank.
Unfortunately for Beijing, the precedent is hardly encouraging. From the start the scheme was plagued by bickering over conditions and allegations of corruption. A handful of infrastructure projects did get built, but the reality fell woefully short of Tokyo’s grandiose dreams. Far from cementing Japan’s economic ascendancy across Asia, the project left a legacy of bad blood, and marked the beginning of a financial retreat from around the region that Japan has only recently begun to reverse.
The rest of the editorial notes that rampant corruption elsewhere siphoned funds away from projects, and those bits that actually did get built ended up as "white elephant" projects: transport initiatives that cost so much to maintain that they could not be sustained and were eventually shelved. Certainly, the OBOR and New Silk Road tags characterize some grandiose initiative. (See the map pabove.) Whether the Chinese have the actual sense to scale these to reality-based bits is another question since linking the Middle East all the way to the Far East is not a vision based on modesty. 

Scaling it appropriately to meet local needs of the countries involved is key. That is, participating countries will plump for maintaining infrastructure built (with Chinese support) insofar as they can benefit from it going forward. However, if benefits are not evident--or mainly serve the purpose of transit through a country instead of serving the citizens of the countries in question first and foremost--the Japanese example provides ample cautions.

UPDATE: A warning is that investment in OBOR countries has, actually, dropped off in recent times, though there are caveats associated with this as a gauge:
Foreign direct investment from China to countries identified as part of the BRI fell 2 per cent in 2016 year on year and has dropped an additional 18 per cent so far in 2017, according to commerce ministry data. Non-financial FDI to 53 BRI countries totalled $14.5bn last year, comprising only 9 per cent of overall outbound FDI...
Chinese experts counter that published figures do not paint a complete story. Jia Jinjing, chief researcher at the Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies in Beijing, said much outbound FDI passes from China through an intermediate country before reaching its final destination, making the commerce data an unreliable gauge of total BRI investment.

          Access to Justice and Extractive Industries [Video]        
Speaker(s): Aidan Davy, Richard Meeran, Juan Pablo Sáenz, Jake White | A panel of international legal and industry experts discuss the fraught world of environmental justice, human rights, minerals and mining and explain why it should be of concern to us all. The EJOLT project (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) will also launch its global map of environmental (in)justice. Aidan Davy is deputy president and senior program director at the International Council for Mining and Minerals (ICMM). Aidan has extensive experience with sustainable development and social responsibility issues, with a strong emphasis on the extractive industries. He has worked as an independent consultant for a range of multi-lateral/bilateral and private sector clients on many of the emerging challenges for the sector. Richard Meeran is a partner at Leigh Day & Co. Richard pioneered claims against UK-based multinationals, Cape PLC for 7,500 South African asbestos victims and Thor Chemicals for South African workers poisoned by mercury. Since 2004, Richard has worked with South African NGOs & gold miners on silicosis claims against Anglo American, and with Tanzanian villagers in a claim against African Barrick Gold. Juan Pablo Sáenz is a representative of the Amazon Defense Coalition and founding partner of Fromboliere Abogados. The ADC secured one of the largest judicial victories in environmental litigation history, which saw Chevron ordered to pay $9.5 billion in damages to remediate profound environmental, social and health impacts caused by its operations in Ecuador. Jake White is a environmental lawyer at Friends of the Earth. Jake has worked for Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Energy & Climate Change, designing a legislative structure to ensure waste and clean-up are paid for by operators. At FoE he works on climate and energy, in particular fracking which has involved working closely with local communities. This event is supported by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and the EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade) Project.
          Habitat III: Milestone for the World’s Cities or Business as Usual?        

Habitat III: Milestone for the World’s Cities or Business as Usual?

Last week, 30,000 people gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for Habitat III, the once-every-20-years UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development. At the conference, 167 country representatives adopted a non-binding but influential vision for cities of the future known as the New Urban Agenda (NUA). This declaration will help steer national decision-making over the next two decades while it supports the Sustainable Development Goals – especially Goal 11 on cities – and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Going forward, what does the Quito meeting mean for urban leaders?

Forward on Equity, Missed Opportunity for Implementation

Beyond climate action, the conference recognized the need for social inclusion. While participants used different language to describe their focus on equity -- “The Right to the City,” “Cities for All,” “Leave No One Behind” -- the conversation centered on how urban design and policy can be used to improve quality of life, safety and prosperity for all urban residents. WRI’s launch of the first installment of the World Resources Report in Quito helped move the conversation from theory to action.

Another positive sign was the inclusion of a wide range of participants in the conference. Civil society organizations and the business community both had strong voices in the discussion, demonstrating their intent to invest in the future of cities and their belief in the importance of good urban development. Local governments also displayed a commitment to action, including the commitment of 7,100 cities to measure, report and set targets for carbon emissions as part of the Global Covenant of Mayors. After a challenging process of coming to agreement around the New Urban Agenda, it was clear from Habitat III that pivoting toward action will require including these voices.

Habitat III also saw a few new commitments from countries, multi-lateral development banks and other stakeholders to help achieve the goals of the NUA, including safe and accessible urban services, strong urban planning policies at the local and national level and action-oriented partnerships for implementation. For example, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development committed $1 billion in Euros next year to finance sustainable urban mobility projects around the world. The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, led by the Global Environment Facility in partnership with WRI, the World Bank and others, also launched a resource group to bring together global thought leaders to create new decision making tools for cities. Going forward, the international community will need to build on these initiatives to continue the momentum post-Quito.

What’s Next?

Less than a month after Quito, international negotiators will meet in Marrakech to chart the next steps for action on climate change. Urban champions should leverage the NUA to ensure that the role of cities in mitigating and adapting to climate impacts is on the agenda. The Paris Agreement was not a key topic in Quito, but cities need to be part of the climate discussions at COP22, since cities are where some of the most severe climate effects will be felt and where an increasing slice of the global population will live. The New Urban Agenda aligns with the core of both the climate process and the Sustainable Development Goals, as future solutions for urban challenges will need to be aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels, and NUA’s core message is that development must be more equitable and inclusive. Initiatives such as the Global Covenant of Mayors and the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate can help jump-start these discussions.

Balancing power and responsibility between local and national governments as they start implementing the NUA will be tricky, but necessary. Local actors should continue to draw on the NUA to guide decision-making, while national and regional bodies should seek the frameworks best suited to their laws to support and empower cities.

One of the conference’s missed opportunities was the low profile of the Quito Implementation Plan (the UN’s proposed platform for coordinating and publicizing efforts from non-state actors and stakeholders), which could have helped maintain momentum. Implementation might still be strengthened using provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

It is also essential to begin the discussion of how to hold national governments accountable for the commitments they’ve made through the Habitat III process. Without accountability, it will be impossible to ensure that all are doing their part to achieve these urban and global goals.

As the world celebrates the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, we must remember that the hard part is only just beginning. The pressure is now on us to ensure that the legacy of Habitat III is one of action. The resounding message from the tens of thousands of Habitat participants, and the surprisingly high number of young people at the conference, clearly states that our future is an urban one, and it has never been more important to make sure we do it right.


          The future of sex in Africa        

Stigma and growing religious fundamentalism are preventing women from fully accessing a range of reproductive health services.

Accra. Accra, Ghana. Photo: Francisco Anzola/Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Some rights reserved.

Originally published on This is Africa.

In December last year I went to see a doctor. I had been feeling tired and wanted to check whether my haemoglobin levels had dropped, given that I am prone to anaemia. I also asked to be prescribed the emergency morning-after contraceptive pill. The doctor sent me off for my lab tests and said I could pick up my prescriptions from the nurse at reception. When I did so, I realised that he had not issued me a script for the pill, so I went back to see him. He ummed and ahed awkwardly and eventually said something along the lines of: “I don’t believe in giving prescriptions to stop pregnancy. You can get it over the counter”. I was stunned into silence for a few seconds and then I said: “I can get anything over the counter in Ghana. I came to the hospital for a reason. I need you to do your job and give me a prescription”. He refused. I explained to him that I also needed the prescription so that my medical insurance would reimburse me. He shook his head and said no.

When we think about the future of sex in Africa, we need to think about our current reality. Women continue to have limited access to comprehensive reproductive health. Even in situations where the law gives us access, ‘cash and carry’ health-care systems, stigma and a growing religious fundamentalism prevent us from fully accessing a range of reproductive health services.

A billboard in Ghana. A billboard in Ghana. Photo: hiroo yamagata/Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0. Some rights reserved.At the 2016 African Feminist Forum (AFF) held in Zimbabwe, two Angolan women connected in person for the first time. They had previously known each other virtually, and only met in person when they attended the feminist gathering in Harare, with over 150 other activists. When Sizaltina Cutaia and Âurea Mouzinho returned home, they decided to start Ondjango Feminista. They wanted to create a space for feminist women in Angola and for women to raise their consciousness on feminist issues. Earlier this year in Angola, the government attempted to pass a bill banning abortions, no matter the circumstances. It didn’t matter whether you needed an abortion because you had been raped, or if the life of the mother was in danger if the pregnancy continued – this would have been a blanket ban.

Ondjango Feminista worked to resist the passing of this law. They were involved in direct action to lobby parliamentarians not to pass the bill and they organised a march to demonstrate visibly against the law. They got support from some high-profile women, including Isabella dos Santos – which was a struggle for them because of political and ideological differences. The day before their scheduled march, the government announced that the bill had been postponed. They still went on to march, and the bill was subsequently re-introduced to parliament but in a very different form to what had initially been proposed. This is another example of the fact that one aspect of the challenge that African feminists face (and I think this is also a global challenge) is constantly fighting to hold the line, and not to lose rights that have already been hard won.

The role of religious fundamentalism

Today, the biggest challenge to sexual rights on the continent comes from an increasing alliance between religious fundamentalists of all stripes. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development and the Observatory on the Universality of Rights has a new report, ‘Rights at Risk’, which shows how a range of Christian, Muslim and civil society fundamentalist actors, including states such as the Vatican, work together to resist the idea that human rights are universal and something that everyone, no matter where they are in the world, are entitled to.

Today, the biggest challenge to sexual rights on the continent comes from an increasing alliance between religious fundamentalists of all stripes.

The biggest danger from this alliance of the far right has come from the exporting from the US to different parts of our continent of what is described as the ‘culture war’ or ‘culture conflict’. This refers to the conflict between traditionalist or conservative values and progressive or liberal values and it is the reason we have had US evangelists working with Ugandan politicians to attempt to pass the ‘kill the gays’ bill. It is visible in how US-based anti-rights groups organise huge conferences where they provide training on how participants can pursue their anti-rights agenda in multi-lateral spaces like the UN. The repercussions of these conferences are felt not only in these international policy spaces, but also in various countries on the African continent.

All of these factors contribute to a dire picture when one considers the landscape of sexual rights on the continent. Countries like South Africa, which on paper has some of the most progressive laws around LGBTQI rights, suffers from an epidemic of violence against women in general terms, and in particular the horrendous violence – including so-called ‘corrective rape’ – that LGBTQI people face.

However, this dire picture has been responded to by inspired activism. Recently the African feminist movement lost one of its most inspired activists, Prudence Mabele, a founder of the Positive Women’s Network. A leading activist who was living positively, she was one of the first women in South Africa to declare her HIV-positive status publicly. Mabele and numerous other women tackled head on the stigma of living with HIV, creating support networks for women to live positively and to be in the driving seat of work around HIV and Aids activism.

At the funeral of Prudence Mabele. At the funeral of Prudence Mabele. Photo: GovernmentZA/Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0. Some rights reserved.

Women are speaking out

There are other glimmers of hope. An increasing number of feminist activists are creating space to talk about sex, sexuality, sexual rights and everything in between. I fall into this category. Since 2009, alongside my co-blogger Malaka Grant and a collective of contributors, I have curated the blog Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women as a space where African women can share their own stories about sex and sexuality. I often meet women who give me direct feedback about what the blog has meant to them personally and how it has enabled them to have conversations with partners that might otherwise have been difficult to have, or even to just learn about sex from other women. These are things that are near impossible to do in contexts where there is little to no sex education.

There are blogs, like HOLA Africa, that provide space and visibility to queer African women – something that, in my view, radically responds to the false notion that homosexuality is ‘unAfrican’. There are feminist organisations such as the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) that have fought stigma and discrimination for years and finally achieved NGO expert status in spaces such as the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. This was achieved despite the objections of such people as Mohamed Bechir Khalfallah, vice chair of that commission in 2015, who gave a speech in which he rejected CAL’s application, stating: “These people are an imported virus that will spread across Africa and have no place in this human rights body”.

There are many more activists and movements that recognise the centrality of sexual rights and bodily integrity: Freedom and Roam Uganda; None on Record; the African Feminist Forum and the various National Forums; artivists such as Zanele Muholi and her Faces and Phases Project; radical academics such as Stella Nyanzi and Pumla Gqola; funding organisations such as the African Women’s Development Fund. These activists and activist organisations are amongst those that are holding the line, and pushing for women and people everywhere to be able to access their full range of bodily, sexual, health and reproductive rights.

* Join Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (@nas009for a Twitter chat on the future of sex at 1pm BST on Friday 4 August, along with Tiffany Mugo (@tiffmugo).

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          Iran        
I've been very reluctant to write or speak about the Iran Deal. I spoke about it one Friday night, but I deliberately avoided saying anything about whether I think it's a good or a bad deal.

There are a few reasons for that. First of all, I'm a rabbi. I'm not an expert on international relations, nuclear inspections or anything of the sort. If you are turning to me to learn about the quality of this deal--about how effective it's going to be in keeping the bomb out of Iran's hands--or about how it fares in this respect compared to other options, then, quite frankly, you're being a fool. I know a lot of Rabbis who have come out in favor or in opposition to this deal, on its technical merits, and I find it terribly uncomfortable. Why would anyone expect a rabbi to have good insight into that?

In general, I tend to be cautious when speaking about non-overtly religious topics (even though I acknowlege that it's impossible, and wrong, to completely avoid them, as there isn't a clear distinction between religious and non-religious topics, especially when it comes to politics, which is often where morality gets implemented in our society). But, I am even more cautious when the topics are so terribly complicated. And, they don't get much more complicated than this one.

I've read intelligent, compelling articles which argue that this deal is a disaster--for Israel, for America and for the world. That it puts us in very real, possibly existential danger. I've read intelligent, compelling articles which argue that, given the circumstances (the crumbling sanction regime, the obvious unwillingness of the US to engage in a protracted military campaign, etc), this is a surprisingly good deal. It's not perfect (what negotiated deal ever is?), but given the reality in which it was negotiated, it's very good. I've read intelligent, compelling articles which argue that it is, in fact, an incredibly strong deal. That it got everything that could have realistically been asked for, and that it does a good job of keeping us safe for longer than any other available option.

And, the reality is, I really don't know who is right. And, neither do you.

If serious, committed, deeply knowledgable people disagree so greatly, then it's hubristic, possibly ridiculously so, to claim absolute assuredness about the topic. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to understand, and that we don't have the right, and maybe the obligation, to form opinions. But, when various organizations are coming out with strong, often strident statements of support or (more commonly, from what it seems) condemnation and opposition to this deal, my primary reaction is one of disbelief. Disbelief that this religious and/or community organization thinks that I care, or that I should care, about their positions. Many Federations are coming out against the deal. What do they know about the relevant details of the various options for inspection and verification? Some Rabbinic organizations are coming out in support of it--what makes them experts in complicated, multi-lateral negotiated nuclear treaties? And so on.

But, what I find even more frustrating is the way in which the pundits, professoinal and amateur, deride those who disagree with them. Because in this case, we're all very much on the same side. We don't all agree, of course, Many of us strenuously disagree with each other. But, fundamentally, we're all on the same side on this one. We all want the same thing. No one--literally no one that I've read or heard--wants Iran to have the bomb. No one thinks that it's just a small problem if they do get it. Everyone wants to live in a world without a nuclear Iran.

Where we disagree is about strategy and tactics. Some people think that it's realistic, and therefore necessary, to guarantee a permanent, or at least long-term, non-Nuclear Iran. And, if that's the case, then this deal fails. But, some believe that to be a pipe-dream. They believe that, realistically, the best we can hope for is a long delay in Iran's acquisition of nuclear power, and the possibility, remote though it may be, of other changes taking place during that interim period. And, holding out for an impossibly extreme deal is equivalent to not seeking a deal at all, and actually gives Iran a faster path to the bomb.

For the record, that's closer to my point of view. I'm terrified of a nuclear Iran. No one has to list off all of their bad traits for me; I'm aware of them. But, I also believe that if recent history has proven anything, it's proven that the US does not have unlimited capacity to affect or control the world. Holding out for a deal which permanently removes all nuclear enrichment capability from Iran while also getting them to agree to stop supporting terrorists while ceasing with all of the death-to-American and death-to-Israel rhetoric? That's the functional equivalent of not negotiating at all.

But, am I sure? Do I know if there might have been a better deal, even if there wasn't a perfect deal available? No, of course I don't. Do I know if a different administration, or a different negotiating team, might have gotten more meaningful concessions out of Iran? Of course not. I'm willing to listen to those arguments, but when they come in the form of context-unaware, invective-laden diatribes, I'm a lot less interested in what they have to say. Because, I basically never trust the judgment of anyone who claims to be absolutely sure about a complicated topic.

And that is precisely what I've learned in my rabbinical studies.






          (USA-TX-SAN ANTONIO) Field Specialist (Wellbore Construction - Liners) - US Land        
About Us: Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE:BHGE) is the world’s first and only fullstream provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions. Drawing on a storied heritage of invention, BHGE harnesses the passion and experience of its people to enhance productivity across the oil and gas value chain. BHGE helps its customers acquire, transport and refine hydrocarbons more efficiently, productively and safely, with a smaller environmental footprint and at lower cost per barrel. Backed by the digital industrial strength of GE, the company deploys minds, machines and the cloud to break down silos and reduce waste and risk, applying breakthroughs from other industries to advance its own. With operations in over 120 countries, the company’s global scale, local know-how and commitment to service infuse over a century of experience with the spirit of a startup – inventing smarter ways to bring energy to the world. Follow Baker Hughes, a GE company on Twitter @BHGECo, or visit us at BHGE.com. Role Summary: Baker Hughes, a GE company has an opening for a Field Specialist (Wellbore Construction – Liners) to work across US Land at all applicable well sites. Essential Responsibilities: + Under minimal supervision run multiple applications of medium to high risk in one or more product lines in the Wellbore Construction Product Group. + Ensures supplied equipment is compatible with all other equipment used for job. + Provides front-line support with customer and accurately completes all paperwork prior to or upon completion of job. + Uses experience and knowledge of applications to ensure products and services are of highest quality. + May conduct on-the-job training for some Wellbore Construction applications as required. + Conducts all business activities in accordance with BHGE HSE policies, Legal Compliance requirements and BHGE Core Values + Continues to expand and apply application knowledge and expertise to include applications of increasing complexity and/or risk in Downhole Tools and/or other product groups Qualifications/Requirements: + Minimum of 5 years of experience running Liners as a Field Specialist. + Thorough mechanical and application proficiency with Wellbore Construction products in one or more product lines. + Proficient at rotating liner systems to desired setting depth. + High School Diploma. + Ability to be on 24 hour call on a 21/7 schedule + Ability to travel across all US Land well sites. + Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office + Strong communication skills & the ability to work well with others + Must be authorized to work in the United States + Basic knowledge of Hydraulic calculations + Committed to HS&E and Road Journey Management + Willingness to cross train in other product line specialties Desired Characteristics: + Two year Technical Degree or Associates Degree + Knowledge of Multi-lateral liner systems + Proficient in other product line specialty: R&S tools, packers, fishing, etc.. Locations: US Land well sites Baker Hughes, a GE company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law. Learn more at https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/poster_screen_reader_optimized.pdf **Job:** _O&G Field_ **Title:** _Field Specialist (Wellbore Construction - Liners) - US Land_ **Location:** _Texas-SAN ANTONIO_ **Requisition ID:** _1710222_
          ACOLITII LUI TISMANEANU au primit cadou din banii nostri o noua excursie in SUA cu ICR Travel & Leisure. ICR a ramas fara conducere, dupa ce Mihaies a fost chemat de Patapievici sa-i duca servieta la New York        
In plina "criza financiara" a institutiilor statului, ICR Travel & Leisure gaseste fonduri pentru o manifestare "di granda" a impostorilor anticomunismului, tocmai la New York, la care vor participa probabil 20 de rataciti (la fel ca la lansarea "Raportului final", tot pe banii nostri - vezi Video mai jos).
Vizita de lucru in judetul New York a prim-secretarului Partidului, tovarasul Vladimir Tismaneanu, cunoscutul geniu din Urali, eroul între eroi, cel mai iubit fiu al po­porului rus, strateg si urechist neobosit, demn sugator de respect de la stanga la dreapta, perfectul acrobat în vremi de furtună dar si stejar de Scorniland, va fi acompaniata si de tovarasul prim al ICR al PCR Horia Roman Patapievici dar si de tovarasul vice Mircea Mihaiesi, care, de dragul amintirilor parintilor de la Hotel Lux, vor lasa de izbeliste didamai institutia culturala de la Bucuresti ca si cea de propaganda, "Idei si convingeri comuniste in dialog" stipendiata de Sorin Ovidiu Vintu - Dumnezeu. Relatarile de la fata locului vor fi realizate cu minutiozitate si limbism, conform inaltelor directive de partid si de grup, de reporterul, yesmanul si sicofantul Agentiei oficiale de stiri OnaniaPress, Dragos Paul Aluigica, care va insoti delegatia pseudo-guvernamentala, tot pe banii pulimii, alaturi de tovarasa Corina Suteu, stalp intre stalpi ai acestui ales moment tovarasesc. Toti tovarasii de nadejde membri ai revolutionarului GDS si participanti la sindrofia tinuta la New York pentru partid si intregul nostru popor vor da glas profundelor sentimente de adâncă dragoste, aleasă preţuire, vie recunoştinţă şi înaltă mândrie patriotică, cu adevarat revoluţio­nară, faţă de proeminentele perso­nalităţi intelectualoide ale luptei de clasa anti-anticomuniste.
Alt baiatel de mingi, Vladut Muresan, va reliefa pe OnaniaBlog si tot pe bani nostri valoarea de exemplu luminos a oamenilor specializati in stiinta imposturii si sponsorizati de gurile taranilor fara pensie in lumina deplinei adeziuni la politica internă şi externă a partidului şi statului nostru, ai cărei străluciţi exponenţi şi neobosiţi promotori sunt tovarăşul Tismaneanu şi tovarăşa Patapievici.
Tinand cond de vointa gazdelor, participantii nu vor ezita sa reflecte directivele "Raportului final" al victoriei onanismului asupra Romaniei si  să exemplifice cu propriile experiente caracterul profund ştiinÅ£ific şi consecvent revo­luÅ£ionar al onaniei politice si stiintifice. Dupa cum este larg recunoscut si reflectat chiar si in tribuna Onania Zilei înaltul prestigiu şi larga recunoaştere in­ter­naÅ£ională a proe­minentelor per­­sonalităţi cultural-social-politico-filosofico-ştiinÅ£ifico va demonstra ca Romania isi re­în­noieste angajamentul solemn de a face totul si de a nu precupeÅ£i nici un efort pentru a condamna romanii pentru crimele facute de bolsevici si tovarasii lor de drum.
La manifestarea artistico-culturala vor participa - pe baza de selectie atenta - toate categoriile profesionale de tovarasi: oameni ai muncii de la sate si orase, muncitori, ţărani, intelectuali dar si elevi, studenţi, pionieri sau şoimi ai patriei de toate naţio­na­lităţile, cum ar fi doi-trei români, dar mai ales maghiari, germani şi, evident, de alte naţionalităţi fara deosebire de gen adica si cu sex si fara sex, conform exemplului luminos de eminent om po­litic si savant de largă recu­noaştere in­ter­­naţională care este el, tovarasul Volodea Tismaneanu, care, in ovatiile generale si aplauzele prelungite ale bravilor tovarasi participanti la Festival isi va lansa ultimul volum de memorii stiintifice multi-lateral involuate "Onanist pentru Eternitate"
Iata programul manifestarilor:
As part of the Festival “Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe”, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, in association with the Polish Cultural Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute New York, and Austrian Cultural Forum invite you to the Symposium
After Communism:
Achievement and Disillusionment since 1989

February 26-27, 2010 | Columbia University

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York is pleased to invite you to this multi-day symposium that will bring together leading public intellectuals, scholars, politicians, dissidents and writers from both sides of the Atlantic to assess the global meaning of the 1989 bla-bla-bla revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and the world.
SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM

FRIDAY, February 26
2:00 What Was Communism and Why Did It End?
Adam Michnik, Archie Brown, Vlad Muresan
Moderator: Mircea Mihaies

3:45 What is Post-Communism and When Does It End?
Katherine Verdery, Paul Dragos Aligica, Slawomir Sierakowski
Moderator: Monika Fabijanska

5:30 The End of History?
Alfred Gusenbauer, Michael Scammell, Stephen Sestanovich
Moderator: Andreas Stadler

7:15 Film: 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
(Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania 2006)
Introduced by A.O. Scott

SATURDAY, February 27
2:00 The Legacy of Dissent
Erhard Busek, Horia-Roman Patapievici, Ira Katznelson
Moderator: Catharine Nepomnyashchy

3:45 Unfulfilled Promises? Democracy & Disillusionment
Angelo Mitchievici, Elzbieta Matynia, Timothy Frye
Moderator: Corina Suteu

5:30 Creating a Narrative About the Communist Past
Benjamin Barber, Stephen Kotkin, Vladimir Tismaneanu

Moderator: Timothy Frye

The detailed symposium agenda is available at www.icrny.org.
FRI-SAT, February 26-27. Panels: 2-7 pm
FRI, February 26, 7:15: Screening of “12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST”
HARRIMAN INSTITUTE at Columbia University
Faculty House, President’s Room, 64 Morningside Drive, Columbia University
FREE ADMISSION. Registration required
ONLINE or at rsvp@harrimaninstitute.org.
ROMANIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE IN NEW YORK
200 East 38th Street (at 3rd Avenue), New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-0180 – Fax: 212-687-0181
icrny@icrny.org; www.icrny.org

          ACOLITII LUI TISMANEANU au primit cadou din banii nostri o noua excursie in SUA cu ICR Travel & Leisure. ICR a ramas fara conducere, dupa ce Mihaies a fost chemat de Patapievici sa-i duca servieta la New York        
In plina "criza financiara" a institutiilor statului, ICR Travel & Leisure gaseste fonduri pentru o manifestare "di granda" a impostorilor anticomunismului, tocmai la New York, la care vor participa probabil 20 de rataciti (la fel ca la lansarea "Raportului final", tot pe banii nostri - vezi Video mai jos).
Vizita de lucru in judetul New York a prim-secretarului Partidului, tovarasul Vladimir Tismaneanu, cunoscutul geniu din Urali, eroul între eroi, cel mai iubit fiu al po­porului rus, strateg si urechist neobosit, demn sugator de respect de la stanga la dreapta, perfectul acrobat în vremi de furtună dar si stejar de Scorniland, va fi acompaniata si de tovarasul prim al ICR al PCR Horia Roman Patapievici dar si de tovarasul vice Mircea Mihaiesi, care, de dragul amintirilor parintilor de la Hotel Lux, vor lasa de izbeliste didamai institutia culturala de la Bucuresti ca si cea de propaganda, "Idei si convingeri comuniste in dialog" stipendiata de Sorin Ovidiu Vintu - Dumnezeu. Relatarile de la fata locului vor fi realizate cu minutiozitate si limbism, conform inaltelor directive de partid si de grup, de reporterul, yesmanul si sicofantul Agentiei oficiale de stiri OnaniaPress, Dragos Paul Aluigica, care va insoti delegatia pseudo-guvernamentala, tot pe banii pulimii, alaturi de tovarasa Corina Suteu, stalp intre stalpi ai acestui ales moment tovarasesc. Toti tovarasii de nadejde membri ai revolutionarului GDS si participanti la sindrofia tinuta la New York pentru partid si intregul nostru popor vor da glas profundelor sentimente de adâncă dragoste, aleasă preţuire, vie recunoştinţă şi înaltă mândrie patriotică, cu adevarat revoluţio­nară, faţă de proeminentele perso­nalităţi intelectualoide ale luptei de clasa anti-anticomuniste.
Alt baiatel de mingi, Vladut Muresan, va reliefa pe OnaniaBlog si tot pe bani nostri valoarea de exemplu luminos a oamenilor specializati in stiinta imposturii si sponsorizati de gurile taranilor fara pensie in lumina deplinei adeziuni la politica internă şi externă a partidului şi statului nostru, ai cărei străluciţi exponenţi şi neobosiţi promotori sunt tovarăşul Tismaneanu şi tovarăşa Patapievici.
Tinand cond de vointa gazdelor, participantii nu vor ezita sa reflecte directivele "Raportului final" al victoriei onanismului asupra Romaniei si  să exemplifice cu propriile experiente caracterul profund ştiinÅ£ific şi consecvent revo­luÅ£ionar al onaniei politice si stiintifice. Dupa cum este larg recunoscut si reflectat chiar si in tribuna Onania Zilei înaltul prestigiu şi larga recunoaştere in­ter­naÅ£ională a proe­minentelor per­­sonalităţi cultural-social-politico-filosofico-ştiinÅ£ifico va demonstra ca Romania isi re­în­noieste angajamentul solemn de a face totul si de a nu precupeÅ£i nici un efort pentru a condamna romanii pentru crimele facute de bolsevici si tovarasii lor de drum.
La manifestarea artistico-culturala vor participa - pe baza de selectie atenta - toate categoriile profesionale de tovarasi: oameni ai muncii de la sate si orase, muncitori, ţărani, intelectuali dar si elevi, studenţi, pionieri sau şoimi ai patriei de toate naţio­na­lităţile, cum ar fi doi-trei români, dar mai ales maghiari, germani şi, evident, de alte naţionalităţi fara deosebire de gen adica si cu sex si fara sex, conform exemplului luminos de eminent om po­litic si savant de largă recu­noaştere in­ter­­naţională care este el, tovarasul Volodea Tismaneanu, care, in ovatiile generale si aplauzele prelungite ale bravilor tovarasi participanti la Festival isi va lansa ultimul volum de memorii stiintifice multi-lateral involuate "Onanist pentru Eternitate"
Iata programul manifestarilor:
As part of the Festival “Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe”, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, in association with the Polish Cultural Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute New York, and Austrian Cultural Forum invite you to the Symposium
After Communism:
Achievement and Disillusionment since 1989

February 26-27, 2010 | Columbia University

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York is pleased to invite you to this multi-day symposium that will bring together leading public intellectuals, scholars, politicians, dissidents and writers from both sides of the Atlantic to assess the global meaning of the 1989 bla-bla-bla revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and the world.
SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM

FRIDAY, February 26
2:00 What Was Communism and Why Did It End?
Adam Michnik, Archie Brown, Vlad Muresan
Moderator: Mircea Mihaies

3:45 What is Post-Communism and When Does It End?
Katherine Verdery, Paul Dragos Aligica, Slawomir Sierakowski
Moderator: Monika Fabijanska

5:30 The End of History?
Alfred Gusenbauer, Michael Scammell, Stephen Sestanovich
Moderator: Andreas Stadler

7:15 Film: 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
(Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania 2006)
Introduced by A.O. Scott

SATURDAY, February 27
2:00 The Legacy of Dissent
Erhard Busek, Horia-Roman Patapievici, Ira Katznelson
Moderator: Catharine Nepomnyashchy

3:45 Unfulfilled Promises? Democracy & Disillusionment
Angelo Mitchievici, Elzbieta Matynia, Timothy Frye
Moderator: Corina Suteu

5:30 Creating a Narrative About the Communist Past
Benjamin Barber, Stephen Kotkin, Vladimir Tismaneanu

Moderator: Timothy Frye

The detailed symposium agenda is available at www.icrny.org.
FRI-SAT, February 26-27. Panels: 2-7 pm
FRI, February 26, 7:15: Screening of “12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST”
HARRIMAN INSTITUTE at Columbia University
Faculty House, President’s Room, 64 Morningside Drive, Columbia University
FREE ADMISSION. Registration required
ONLINE or at rsvp@harrimaninstitute.org.
ROMANIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE IN NEW YORK
200 East 38th Street (at 3rd Avenue), New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-0180 – Fax: 212-687-0181
icrny@icrny.org; www.icrny.org

          World Bank keeps faith in India story        
Retains projections for GDP growth at 7.5% for current financial yearUnlike other multi-lateral institutions, the World Bank does not think that the e...
          Nigeria To Rebuild Kano Groundnut Pyramid        



The Nigerian Government says plans have been concluded to rebuild the famous Kano groundnut pyramid through investment in intensive agricultural research and cash crop development.

The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbe said that the scheme in no distant time, ‘‘wold boost farmers’ income through new groundnut varieties, cropping systems and processing technologies in Nigeria.’’

Dr Ogbe made was speaking at a three-day International Agricultural Workshop with the team: ’’Future Resilient Farming Systems For Semi-Arid Region of West and Central Africa held in conjunction with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics,  Bayero University Kano.

The Pyramid
The pyramids, 61 years ago were built in the ancient city of Kano, where groundnut production was a key part of the economy.
They were viewed as both a tourist attraction and a symbol of wealth as many were employed in the value chain of the business, especially the export component.
However, In the 1960s and 70s, as production in Nigeria shifted from agriculture to oil, the groundnut pyramids disappeared.
On this note, the Minister said THAT apart from groundnut, the Nigerian government was also looking to improving other areas of grain production.
‘‘The government was also committed to boost sorghum production, commercialization and industrial utilization through value chain public-private partnership. There was also plan to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in drought prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia through enhanced grain legume production and productivity,’’ he stated.

Dr Ogbe further explained that‘‘a programme had equally been designed to improve production of Sorghum and Millet for local consumption and exportation through Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement, ’’’.

He stressed that Nigerian government recognized the strategic role of agricultural research in improving the livelihoods of farmers, appreciate the need for new investments in modern science-based agriculture and was therefore committed to supporting agricultural researches on a sustainable basis.

Expectation
Dr Ogbe also hope that the establishment of agricultural research institute in Kano will go a long way in strengthening the existing collaboration between the national agricultural research institutes and their international counterparts, as well as ensure that the current challenges to sustainable agricultural production are overcome.
Similarly, the Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University Kano, Professor Muhammad Bello, who was the chief host of the event, said that the forum would provide opportunity for the outcome of various researches to be shared and practical interventions made to increase resilience and productivity in the agricultural sector.
Professor Bello urged ‘‘the participants to come out with workable outcomes that would increase crop and livestock production, as well as sustainable utilization of the environment in the coming years.’’

He appealed to governments, agencies, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions, including the private sector to improve funding to the agricultural sector for maximum production.
Meanwhile, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at the event lamented a situation where over the years, Nigeria had witnessed a gradual and consistent decline in productivity of important crops and livestock.
According to him, ‘‘there is need to boost research in agricultural products as such the forum provides greater opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas that will improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria, west Africa and the central Africa among others.’’

http://www.nta.ng/agriculture/20160929-nigeria-rebuild-kano-groundnut-pyramid/

          A theologian’s take on how to avoid conflict with North Korea        

Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2017 / 11:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Dialogue and prudent actions to uphold international resolutions are key to maintaining peace amid rising tensions between North Korea and the international community, one theologian said.

“Dialogue is critical to resolving this particular issue,” Dr. Joseph Capizzi, a moral theologian at the Catholic University of America, told CNA. “We have kicked the can down the road for 50-plus years, with regard to Korea.”

“And the further we kick the can down the road, the more difficult the situation becomes, the less solvable it becomes by the use of force. So dialogue is more essential now than it ever was before.”

The Vatican has shown concern over the developing situation and has also expressed the need for dialogue between countries. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, said on Wednesday that the “way of conflict is always the wrong way.”

“The way forward is not that of having the latest military technology, but of having an approach of inclusion,” the archbishop said, as reported by Vatican Radio.

In July, North Korea successfully tested ballistic missiles that had the capability of reaching the U.S. mainland, following a series of launches of medium-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles earlier this year.

Then on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that North Korea had produced a small-enough nuclear warhead that could be placed inside a missile, according to intelligence analysts. North Korea reportedly has as many as 60 nuclear weapons, according to one United States estimate.

On Wednesday, DPRK state media reported that the Kim Jong-Un regime was considering a strike against the island of Guam in the West Pacific, the westernmost U.S. territory and one from which B-1 bombers have flown over the Korean peninsula in military exercises. The AP followed up on Thursday by reporting that a plan for North Korea to launch four missiles aimed to land in the ocean within 25 miles of Guam, as an exercise of its threat to the U.S. territory, had been hatched and could be submitted for approval in the next week to Kim Jong Un.

Because of North Korea’s continued nuclear buildup and its ballistic missile tests, the UN Security Council unanimously voted last weekend to impose more sanctions on the Communist dictatorship.

President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday that if North Korea continued to threaten the United States, they would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a Wednesday press conference that “what the President is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language.”

“I think the President just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies,” he said.

The need for dialogue carries with it the importance of prudence and “sobriety” in the rhetoric of U.S. and world leaders, Capizzi said.

“We do want to engage them,” he said. “We’re trying to pull back some of the incendiary nature of the rhetoric. And then to have the President immediately follow that up with the ‘fire and fury’ comment, it makes us seem erratic. It makes us seem inconsistent,” he said.

Yet, he added, “action is much more important here than rhetoric.” The international sanctions, and the unanimous vote of UN Security Council members – including even Russia and China -- to impose them, were an important step to take, he said, “to induce North Korea to stop testing missiles.”

Also, the actions that have not been taken are important, he said, like an overly aggressive mobilization of U.S. military forces.  “You don’t see our military or our navy sort of ratcheting up right now,” he said.

“That’s what we really need to keep our eyes on, is what is our military doing? Where are our ships going in that part of the world? What is Japan doing?” he said. “And so far I think everybody recognizes there’s nothing to gain by pushing this further. What we really want to do is sit down and see if we can negotiate out of this.”

Pope Francis, in an April 29 in-flight press conference during his return from Egypt, said that regarding the escalating international tensions with North Korea, “the path is the path of negotiation, the path of diplomatic solutions.”

“This world war in pieces of which I've been talking about for two years, more or less, it's in pieces, but the pieces have gotten bigger, they are concentrated, they are focused on points that are already hot,” he said.

“Things are already hot, as the issue of missiles in North Korea has been there for more than a year, now it seems that the thing has gotten too hot.”

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told UN News this summer “general disarmament -- that is a priority this year.”

“There is no doubt that the Catholic Church, Pope Francis now in particular, is very much against not only the use but also the possession of nuclear weapons,” he said.  

Leaders for the U.S. and European bishops also called for nuclear disarmament in a July 6 statement “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security.” Bishop Oscar Cantu, chair of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee, signed the statement along with Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions.

“For many, the horror of a potential nuclear war receded from consciousness with the end of the Cold War, but recent geopolitical developments remind us that our world remains in grave danger,” the bishops stated.

“Even a limited nuclear exchange would have devastating consequences for people and the planet. Tragically, human error or miscalculation could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.”

While the United Nations conference to negotiate the multi-lateral and legally-binding Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was wrapping up in July, the bishops said, the U.S. and “most European nations” were noticeably absent.

122 countries present voted in favor of the treaty, with one, the Netherlands, voting against it and Singapore abstaining, the UN reported.

“Nuclear states are making significant new investments to modernize nuclear arsenals. These costly programs will divert enormous resources from other pressing needs that build security, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” the bishops stated.

“The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence. We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”


          PRESTASI ANAK BANGSA        
Tim Tekhnis GMLL

Bangsa Indonesia tidaklah kekurangan ahli. Banyak para ahli pengeboran yang masih mempunyai nurani dan dengan jujur mengatakan bahwa lumpur Lapindo bisa dihentikan. Para ahli yang tergabung dalam Gerakan Menutup Lumpur Lapindo (GMLL) terketuk hatinya untuk menghentikan petaka ini. Metoda yang digunakan tentu saja berdasarkan pengalaman pada bidang masing-masing selama kurun waktu lebih dari sepuluh tahun.

Tim tekhnis GMLL telah menyiapkan metoda-metoda untuk menutup semburan lumpur. Sebab kita tahu, penanggulangan yang dilakukan selama ini terkesan tidak serius, lamban dan tidak mengarah pada solusi yang semestinya. Bahkan seiring berjalannya waktu, kemudian penyebab semburan lumpur tersebut diisukan sebagai fenomena bencana alam, yaitu meletusnya ”mud volcano” yang dipicu oleh kejadian gempa bumi Jogjakarta. Sebuah fenomena yang memprihatinkan, bahwa kesimpulan ini dikemukakan juga oleh beberapa ”cendikiawan” (Geologist, Ahli Perminyakan), anggota DPR, bahkan Pemerintah dengan argumentasi yang sangat lemah, tanpa bukti-bukti yang valid.

Padahal, analisis para ahli dalam negeri maupun luar negeri menyatakan dengan tegas bahwa lumpur Lapindo terjadi karena murni kesalahan pengeboran. Fakta ini kemudian didukung oleh penelitian Profesor Richard Davies dari Universitas Durham, bersama sejumlah ahli dari Indonesia, Australia dan Amerika Serikat, yang dimuat di jurnal ilmiah Earth Planetary Science and Letters.[1]

Professor Richard Davies yang mengambil gelar Ph.D dari Edinburgh University tahun 1995, bukanlah akademisi dan ahli yang tidak berpengalaman. Selain menjabat profesor di Universitas Durham Inggris, Davies adalah ahli yang sering bekerja untuk berbagai perusahaan eksplorasi minyak besar dunia. Selain itu disebutkan dalam situs Universitas Durham (http://www.dur.ac.uk/earth.sciences/staff): “Richard Davies has spear headed the use of 3D seismic reflection data and visualisation in geoscience research, through publishing papers in highly regarded journals on a range of subjects as diverse as soft sediment deformation, igneous intrusions, silica diagenesis, continent-ocean fracture zones, petroleum geology and mud volcanism.” Adapun jurnal yang memuat penelitian ilmiah oleh para ahli ini, menurut website penerbit Elsevier adalah sebuah jurnal terkemuka yang telah berusia lebih dari empat dasawarsa: “… Earth and Planetary Science Letters has built up an enviable reputation. Its successful formula of presenting high-quality research articles with minimal delay has made it one of the most important sources of information in its field. The articles published reflect the great impact made on research in the geosciences by the use of successful research methods ...”

Berdasarkan data dan fakta tersebut, masyarakat kita agaknya perlu diberikan informasi yang benar bahwa lumpur Lapindo sebenarnya bisa dihentikan. Bangsa kita mempunyai ahli yang berpengalaman di bidang perminyakan, khususnya di bidang Pemboran (Drilling Operation & Drilling Engineering), yang berasal dari Institusi yang dapat diandalkan (ITB, Trisakti, UPN dan lain-lainnya). Selain itu, bangsa kita juga memiliki banyak tenaga ahli yang pengetahuan dan pengalaman kerjanya sangat memadai dan mampu menyelesaikan persoalan-persoalan sumur semburan liar (Blow Out/Under Ground Blow Out) dan bahkan memperoleh pengakuan di lingkungan Nasional dan Internasional.

Seharusnya pemerintah bangga memiliki para ahli yang berprestasi sekaligus masih mempunyai nurani yang mengajukan proposal untuk menutup semburan lumpur. Selain bangga, seharusnya pemerintah memberikan kesempatan dan kepercayaan kepada para ahli yang ingin mengabdikan ilmu pengetahuannya untuk menutup semburan lumpur. Para ahli pengeboran berpengalaman puluhan tahun itu merasa yakin bahwa upaya penutupan sumber lumpur itu akan berhasil, tanpa melibatkan ahli dari luar negeri. Mereka sudah menyelesaikan banyak masalah seperti itu. Ir. Mustiko Saleh, yang pernah menjabat Wakil Dirut Pertamina, menceritakan pengalamannya pada awal 1980-an, saat dia menjalankan tugas di Pertamina Sumatera Utara. Waktu itu, pimpinan unit menyatakan akan mengundang Red Adair (USA) untuk mengatasi masalah itu. Tetapi, rasa nasionalisme Ir. Mustiko Saleh terpanggil dan menyatakan sanggup mengatasi. Dan, atasannya itu langsung menyetujui setelah menegaskan kesanggupan Ir. Mustiko Saleh. Ternyata dia berhasil dan timnya berhasil mengatasi masalah itu. Sikap atasan Mustiko Saleh itu adalah sikap pimpinan yang bermartabat, yang mempercayai kemampuan anak buahnya dan mampu mengambil keputusan yang tepat dalam waktu yang tidak lama. Sikap seperti itulah sesungguhnya yang harus dicerminkan dari pemerintah. Percaya pada kemampuan dan prestasi anak bangsa, serta mampu mengambil keputusan dengan tegas dan cepat.

Andai saja dalam waktu dekat pemerintah memberikan ijin untuk menutup semburan lumpur, tim tekhnis GMLL telah menyiapkan metoda-metoda untuk menutupnya. Metoda-metoda tersebut sebagai berikut:

· Menjinakkan sumur dengan memproduksikan air melalui beberapa sumur “relief wells.” Karena lebih mudah mengelola air di permukaan dibandingkan dengan mengelola lumpur, atau

· Mematikannya melalui proses ”dynamic killing” dengan memompakan lumpur berat, atau

· Mematikannya dengan cara meruntuhkan lapisan melalui ”peledakan” guna menutup lubang komunikasi sehingga aliran terhenti, atau

· Kombinasi dari metoda-metoda di atas.

Adapun biaya yang diperlukan untuk membunuh semburan lumpur tersebut masih relatif jauh lebih murah dibandingkan dengan kerugian yang diderita oleh propinsi Jawa Timur setiap tahunnya dan sampai saat ini masih belum jelas kapan semburan itu bisa berhenti. Hal ini terjadi karena lokasi sumur BJP-1 terletak di jantung dan sentra ekonomi propinsi Jawa Timur tersebut.

Untuk melengkapi tulisan di atas, bersama ini disampaikan nama-nama beberapa putra bangsa yang sudah berkecimpung di dunia perminyakan dengan pengalaman-pengalamannya yang panjang dan dahsyat. Mereka yang siap berjuang bersama membunuh semburan lumpur panas Lapindo, adalah:

Dr. Ir. Rudi Rubiandini R.S.

Lulus tahun 1991 dari Technische Universitaet Clausthal Jerman, bidang Teknik Pemboran Dalam, selama kuliah selalu mendapat nilai ”A” dan pada program Doktor-Ingeneur mendapat predikat ”Cum Laude.” Lulus tahun 1985 dari Institut Teknologi Bandung, bidang Teknik Perminyakan, menjadi lulusan pertama yang mampu menyelasaikan kuliah tepat waktu, selama kuliah pernah meraih penghargaan sebagai ”Mahasiswa Teladan.” Selama bekerja sebagai Dosen sejak tahun 1986 di ITB Departemen Teknik Perminyakan, pernah meraih penghargaan ”Dosen Teladan” tahun 1994 dan tahun 1998. Pernah menjadi “Sekretaris Jurusan Teknik Perminyakan ITB” tahun 1995-1998; ”Kepala Penerbit ITB” tahun 2005–2006; ”Direktur Utama PT LAPI ITB tahun 2006-2007; ”Direktur Operasi & Keuangan PT LAPI ITB” tahun 2007–sekarang. Penugasan dalam posisi non-struktural pernah menjadi ”Team Riset Teknologi LEMIGAS” 1993–2005; ”Penilai AMDAL, RPL/RKL Bidang Migas, KLH 2003–2006; dan tetap sebagai ”Ketua Laboratorium Teknik Pemboran TM-ITB sejak tahun 1991.

Selama karirnya telah puluhan kali bekerja untuk berbagai perusahaan di Indonesia sebagai konsultan bidang Migas. Misalnya yang berhubungan dengan bidang pemboran adalah: ”Evaluation of Horizontal Drilling in several PSC, 1992”; ”Evaluasi Penggunaan Bit PDC, PERTAMINA 1992”; ” Perubahan Rheology Lumpur Akibat Kontaminasi Elektrolit dan Perubahan Temperatur, PERTAMINA 1992”; “Perubahan Rheology Suspensi Semen Akibat Kontaminasi Elektrolit Dan Perubahan Temperatur, PERTAMINA 1992”; ”Evaluation of Horizontal Drilling in Indonesia, BKKA-Pertamina1992; ”Evaluasi Masalah Pemboran Eksplorasi Karangnangka, UEP-III, Pertamina 1995”; ”Study Drilling Expert System, PERTAMINA 1995”; ”Underbalanced Drilling in MOBIL-OIL Indonesia 2000-2001”; ”Development of AFE (Autorithy For Expenditure) Software, BP-Migas 2002”; ”Studi Pemboran dan Workover Berteknologi Tinggi, BP-Migas 2003”; ”Development of Drilling Design, PDSI 2003”; ”Development of DIS (Drilling Integrated System), ELNUSA 2004”; ”Development of Petroleum Software, PERTAMINA 2004”; ”Pembuatan SOP Drilling untuk PERTAMINA 2004”; ”Drilling Design Lapangan Matindok, PERTAMINA 2005”; ”Penelitian Oil Base Mud PERTAMINA 2005”; ”Disain Pemboran Multi-Lateral Lapangan Mudi, SANTA-FE 2005”; ”Penelitian Additive Pengembang untuk Cementing, PERTAMINA 2005”; ”Optimasi pemboran Eksploitasi Migas, DIRJEN-MIGAS 2005”; ”Evaluasi Casing Collapse di Sumur MSBY-01, KONDUR 2005”; ”Review PFFD (Bidang Pemboran) Lapangan West-Seno, BP-Migas 2005”; ”Review POD (Bidang Pemboran) Lapangan Banyu-Urip EXXON-PERTAMINA, BPmigas 2006”; ”Pembuatan Drilling AFE Evaluation Software, BPMIGAS 2006”; ”Pembuatan Software Drilling Design, PDSI 2007”; ”Pembuatan Software Drilling Optimization and AFE, PT ELNUSA 2007”; ”Disain ERD (Extended Reach Driliing) Lapangan Tiaka, MEDCO, 2008”; ”Pembuatan Software Mud-Design” PT ELNUSA 2008.

Selain itu juga aktif melakukan Penelitian di Bidang Migas dan menghasilkan karya Ilmiah Nasional dan Internasional lebih dari 50 buah. Di antaranya ”A New Formula For Estimating Drag and Torque Forces in The Curve of Lateral Section in Horizontal Drilling System, ASCOPE 1997”; ”Stress Corrotion Cracking AISI 420, 4140 and 1045 on Alloy Steel used in The Oil, Gas and Geothermal Industry SPE-50789”; ”Equation for Estimating Mud Minimum Rate for Cutting Transport in an Inclined-Until Horizontal Well SPE-57541”, ”New Additive for Improving Shear Bond Strength in High Temperature and Pressure Cement, SPE-62750”; ”New Formula of Surge Pressure for Determining Safe Trip Velocities, The SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Confrence and Exhibition, Brisbane, Australia, 2000”;

Pakar dan peniliti migas ini juga sering menjadi pembicara di lebih dari 20 Pertemuan Ilmiah Nasional dan Internasional, dan pernah sebagai ”Keynote Speaker dalam Pertemuan International SPE bidang Pemboran mengenai BOREHOLE STABILITY, 1995,” dan pernah mendapat gelar ”Presenter dan Makalah Terbaik” pada Pertemuan Nasional IATMI tahun 2000, 2001, 2003, dan 2004.

Demi penyempurnaan pengabdian terhadap profesinya, Dr. Rudi telah membuat 7 buah peralatan penelitian secara profesional di bidang Teknik Minyak dan Gas bumi yang canggih dengan kualitas yang memenuhi standar, dan beberapa alat mempunyai kemampuann lebih, seperti penggunaan kontrol otomatis dan Data Acquisition menggunakan komputer. Peralatan tersebut adalah “HPHT Cement Curing Chamber”, “Cement Grinding Mild”, “Furnace 1500o C”, “Proppant Tester”, “Adjustable Hydraulic Press”, “Computerized HPHT Triaxial Stress”, “Computeized Stirred Filtration Cell.”

Dari kecemerlangan pikir dan tangan dingin yang kreatif beliau, telah tercipta lebih dari 20 software dalam bidang Teknik Minyak dan Gasbumi yang sangat membantu Engineer dan operator di lapangan dalam melaksanakan tugasnya, seperti “3D-Multilateral Survey”, “Underbalanced Drilling”, “Disposal Water Injection”, “Production Integrated Software”, “Field Gas Deliverability.

Penerima “IATMI Award, sebagai Inovator Nasional” tahun 2002, juga aktif menularkan keahliannya melalui kurang lebih 200 kali Training dalam bidang Teknik Minyak dan Gasbumi, seperti Public Training maupun Inhouse Training di TOTAL, VICO, UNOCAL, CHEVRON, CALTEX, MOBIL, MAXUS, MEDCO, KODEKO, PERTAMINA, BP-Indonesia, dll. Tak lupa mengamalkan ilmunya untuk pekerjaan sosial yang diamanahkan kepadanya seperti: “Pimpinan Divisi Riset Teknologi IATMI–Pusat, 1995–1998; “Ketua IATMI Komda-Bandung, 1996–2002”; “Sekretaris Pakar Bidang Teknologi ICMI-Jabar, sejak 2005”; “Dewan Pakar PII- Nasional, sejak 2006”; “Ketua Tim Investigasi Independen Lumpur Lapindo, 2006”; “Sekjen Masyarakat Migas Indonesia, MMGI- Nasional, sejak 2007”; “Anggota TIKM (Tim Investigasi Kecelakaan Migas), sejak 2008”, dll.

Ir. Kersam Sumanta

Lulusan ITB jurusan Teknik Perminyakan. Bekerja di PERTAMINA selama 24 tahun. Aktif melakukan kegiatan pengeboran sumur–sumur di Sumatra Selatan, dan Jawa Barat dalam kegiatan eksplorasi dan pengembangan lapangan minyak/gas serta lapangan panas bumi. Bekerja di MOBIL Oil Inc. dari 1992 sampai 1997 (5 tahun). Bekerja di Shell Company in Indonesia dari 1997 sampai 2005 (7½ tahun).

Reputasi yang berkaitan dengan semburan liar, antara lain: Kepala Project Engineering Design untuk mematikan semburan liar sumur PT-29 di lapangan Pangkalansusu PERTAMINA Sumatra Utara bersama Mustiko Saleh pada tahun 1981, yang keseluruhan pekerjaan tersebut dikerjakan oleh putra bangsa Indonesia. Pelaksanaan ”dynamic killing method” yang pertama kali dilakukan oleh bangsa Indonesia melalui relief well dan dikombinasikan dengan fracturing method. Total waktu pekerjaan lebih kurang 3 bulan.

Kepala Projek Engineering Design untuk mematikan semburan liar sumur PSJ-A di lapangan Pasirjadi, Subang Jawa Barat PERTAMINA Unit EP-III bersama Robin Lubron dan Bambang Nugroho pada tahun 1984. Seluruh pekerjaan tersebut dikerjakan oleh putra bangsa Indonesia. Methoda yang dipakai adalah ”dynamic killing.” Total waktu pekerjaan 2 setengah bulan.

Kepala Project Engineering Design untuk mematikan semburan liar sumur KE-5 lepas pantai Madura lapangan KODECO tahun 1985. Pekerjaan tersebut dilakukan sambil mendidik atau melatih Drilling Engineer Korea. Methoda yang dipakai ”dynamic killing.” Pekerjaan di lepas pantai Madura adalah yang tercepat (mungkin di dunia) dalam pelaksanaan dynamic killing tidak lebih dari 1 bulan.

Berpartisipasi pada penanggulangan Under Ground Blow out di lepas pantai Bekapai Kalimantan Timur yang dioperasikan oleh Total Indonesie. Pada blow-out ini ada 7 buah sumur produksi di satu platform tenggelam. Turut serta pada penanggulangan Under Ground Blow out di sumur Mutiara-5 di daratan Kalimantan Timur yang dioperasikan oleh VICO Ind. Juga berpartisipasi pada sukses penanggulangan Under Ground Blow out di sumur eksplorasi Muara Tembesi dekat kampung Durian Luncuk Jambi, yang dioperasikan oleh PT. CALTEX Pacific Indo.

Assignment Khusus yang pernah diraih yaitu; Konsultan dalam bidang pemboran eksplorasi minyak/gas dan panas bumi bagi perusahaan minyak negara Philipina (PNOC) selama 8 bulan, sambil memberikan bimbingan dan latihan kepada para calon drilling engineer mereka dalam rangka kerjasama antara PERTAMINA dengan PNOC, dalam rangka bantuan G to G forum.

Hal-hal khusus yang menarik adalah melakukan pekerjaan operasional yang jarang dikerjakan oleh orang lain bahkan yang pertama kali dipraktekkan di Indonesia yaitu : Through tubing bridge plug tanpa rig untuk menyumbat 5 sumur gas tekanan tinggi di lapangan Musi Sumatra Selatan. Menanggulangi loss and kick dengan memasang bridge plug di lubang terbuka, di sumur eksplorasi Kandanghaur Jawa Barat. Mencoba penggunaan “Foam Cement” dengan nitrogen untuk menyemen casing 13 3/8 inci di sumur gas, di mana dialami hilang lumpur di zona yang relative dangkal. Desain berat adonan semen kurang dari 1 (lebih ringan dari air). Selubung berhasil disemen sampai kepermukaan.

Inovator handal ini juga sukses melaksanakan stimulasi pertama di indonesia dengan “Nitrogen Acid Stimulation” di lapangan Tugu Barat, Jawa Barat. Berhasil menghemat biaya sewa work-over rig untuk pekerjaan swabbing minimal 2 hari kerja. Jabatan terakhir yang disandang di BPPKA-PERTAMINA, adalah Kepala Dinas Pengembangan Gas seluruh Indonesia.

Ir. Robin Lubron

Menjadi karyawan Pertamina sejak tahun 1964 – 2001 dengan jabatan terakhir Kepala Divisi–Dit.EP/Hulu, tenaga Ahli perbantukan di JOB–Japex. Tim persiapan kerjasama Pertamina –Exon untuk pengembangan Gas Natuna. Koordinator penanggulangan semburan liar/creater wilayah Pertamina: Gantar–4, 1972, Ahli Lapangan, PSJ–1, Subang, CMS–1, CMB–10, BRG–10, Jambi, JNG-1, 1983, JTB–48–101, Koordinator Penanggulangan tenggelamnya Mooring Bouy di Balongan, Indramayu, Koordinator proyek re-engineering Pramumulih, Tim persiapan otonomi daerah bidang migas.

Ir. Mustiko Saleh

Lulusan ITB jurusan Teknik Perminyakan, Maret 1974. Menjadi, Junior Exploitation Eng DKKA Jakarta, 1974 s/d 1975, Junior Reservoir Engineer Dit. EP Jakarta,1975 s/d 1977, Field Engineer Pkl. Brandan UEP-I 1977 s/d 1979, Drilling Engineer Pkl. Brandan UEP-I 1979 s/d 1982, Ka. Teknik Ops.EPT Langkat-Pkl Susu UEP-I, 1982 s/d 1984, Ka. Eksploitasi Pkl. Susu UEP-I, 1984 s/d 1987, Ka. Sie Ekon EP BPPKA, 1987 s/d 1989, Ka. Project Economics EP BPPKA, 1989 s/d 1992, Ka. Dinas Pemanfaatan Gas Bumi Dit. EP, 1992 s/d 1993, Manajer UEP II-Sumatra Selatan, 1993 s/d 1995, General Manager EP Karangampel-Jawa, 1995 s/d 2000, Business Development Group Dit. EP (termasuk Pengembangan kegiatan di Afrika), 2000 s/d 2002, Direktur Operasi PT. Bumi Hasta Mukti, 2003–2004, Sekertaris Kom PT. PTMN PER 2004, Wakil Direktur Utama & COO PTMN, 2004–2006.

Mempunyai pengalaman khusus di bidang pemboran antara lain; aktif melakukan kegiatan pengeboran sumur–sumur di Sumatra Utara, Sumatra Selatan, dan Jawa Barat (1974–2002), bersama Tim Kerja PERTAMINA, MOBIL OIL dan Red Adair ikut mematikan Semburan liar di Arun melalui ”Dynamic Killing” di tahun 1978. Relief well di bor dengan menggunakan Rig dan personel dari PERTAMINA. Kepala Perencanaan dan Pelaksanaan penanggulangan semburan liar sumur PT–29 melalui ”dynamic Killing” di Pangkalan Susu Sumatra Utara–1982. Seluruh unsur Egineering maupun pelaksanaan pekerjaan dilakukan oleh PERTAMINA. Menyaksikan (witness) kejadian Under Ground Blow out di Sumur Rantau, PERTAMINA Unit EP–1, yang mati dengan sendirinya akibat runtuhan, bahkan Rig (menara pengeboran) tenggelam masuk kedalam perut bumi, Rantau–1982. Anggota tim ahli dalam penanggulangan Semburan liar (Under Ground Blow Out) sumur ST–79 di lapangan Sangatta, Kalimantan Timur, tahun 1982. Sumur mati dengan sendirinya akibat runtuhan yang menutup lubang jalur komunikasi yang terdapat di bawah tanah. Pimpinan Operasi Penanggulangan Semburan Liar (Under Ground Blow Out) di sumur JTB–201, Kaplongan Jatibarang, 2 Mei 1997. Sumur mati dengan sendirinya akibat runtuhan yang menutup lubang jalur komunikasi yang terdapat di bawah tanah. Chairman dari “Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference, 2002” di Jakarta yang diadakan oleh SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers). Mengikuti konferensi Internasional yang diikuti negara-negara di Asia, Australia dan Amerika di bidang perminyakan.

Ir. Harry Eddyarso

Lulusan ITB jurusan Teknik Sipil tahun 1983 dan Magister Manajemen di Prasetiya Mulya Business School (2002). Selama 25 tahun meniti karier di industri migas, telah berkecimpung di dalam bidang keahlian pemboran (baik operations maupun engineering), supply chain management, HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) dan Crisis Management. Selama berkiprah di dunia pemboran, telah bekerja di Laut Jawa, Offshore Kangean, Offshore Australia, Prudhoe Bay-Alaska, Papua, dsb di berbagai jenis anjungan pemboran (land rig, heli-rig, swamp barge, jack-up, drillship dan semi-submersible rig). Terlibat langsung dalam pemboran sumur horizontal pertama di Indonesia, tepatnya di Bima Field, ARCO di pertengahan tahun 1980an. Terlibat langsung dalam “slot reclamation project” yang pertama kali berhasil di Laut Jawa untuk penghematan biaya anjungan lepas pantai. Sering memberikan pelatihan-pelatihan di bidang HSE. Aktif dalam berbagai kegiatan asosiasi di industri perminyakan (SPE, APMI, IPA-ESC, APPI).

Ir. Susila Lusiaga

Lulusan ITB jurusan fisika 1985. Mulai 2008 bekerja lepas sebagai tenaga konsultan di beberapa project pengeboran baik di drilling maupun project terpadu. Pernah ditugaskan menjadi Wireline logging Engineer di Kuwait, Abudhabi, Indonesia (Mundu), Bombay, Oman, Norwegia, Field Service Manager dengan penugasan di Indonesia (Prabumulih dan Duri). Staff Teknik dan Marketing di kantor pusat Paris. Offshore Rig Manager dengan penugasan di Dubai dan Abu Dhabi. Personnel Manager penugasan di Saudi Arabia membawahi Saudi, Kuwait dan Bahrain. Project Manager pada Project-Project Pengeboran Terpadu di Indonesia menjalankan project-project di lepas pantai Langsa, Sulawesi Tengah, Suban Barat dan Randu Blatung. Manager Recruiting untuk tenaga-tenaga ahli yang berpengalaman daerah Timur Tengah dan Austral-Asia berkedudukan di Dubai. (*)



[1] Berbagai media seperti Kompas (11/4), Koran Tempo (11/4), Suara Pembaruan (11/4), Jawa Pos (11/4), Koran Jakarta (12/4), dll memberitakan hal ini.


          Marketing Strategy of ATM Cards in India-Project Report        

Project Report on Marketing Strategy of ATM Cards in India



Dissertation on Marketing Strategy of ATM Cards in India



Research Proposal and Case Studies on Marketing Strategy





Atm Transactions in India

 

Headlines

·         ATM-only cards expected to be phased out by 2009 

·         Number of ATMs in India grows by almost 31%, from 16,000 in 2005, to 21,000 by March 2006 

·         Wide acceptance of ATMs by consumers, introduction of biometric ATMs and various value-added ATM services will maintain industry growth

·         State Bank of India (SBI) has the largest network of ATMs the country, with 5,479, which continues to expand rapidly. Transactions are free of charge at the ATMs

·         ATM withdrawals in India total around US$23 billion in 2007


Trends

·         Increase in inter-bank networks, like National Financial Switch (NFS), Mitr, BANCS, Cashtree and Cashnet is leading to growth in ATM usage. According to a 2006 survey by “Bank net India”, 95% of people now prefer this modern channel over the traditional method of banking and almost 60% people use an ATM at least once a week. ATMs are being used by banks not only to expand their reach to customers, but also to offer value-added services such as bill payment, fund transfers and cross-selling of retail banking products. 

·         ATMs are now seen to be more than mere cash dispensing machines, such as to top-up mobile phones, pay utility bills, even for mutual fund transactions – thus offering the same flexibility as internet banking - only more secure. 

·         According to a survey conducted by NCR Corporation, a leading global technology company and a leader in ATMs in India, in terms of usage, ATMs are typically used for cash withdrawals, mini-statements and balance enquiries. 

·         In 2007, there were only 21,500 ATMs in India, and a banked population estimated at only 400 million. It became imperative for issuers to expand the ATM network to give consumers access to simple banking services. Banking sources stated that there is a need to expand the ATM network – particularly within the urban cities. That said, banks are also in the midst of strategising a plan to reach out to rural customers and the un-banked majority.


Competitive Landscape

·         SBI, a public sector bank, has the largest network of ATMs in India, at more than double that of its closest competitor, ICICI Bank. SBI has 5,479 ATMs across the country. It also has the largest number of ATM/debit cards in circulation. This is mainly because of the large base of savings accounts held by the bank and also due to the vast reach of its network. The bank had around 16.9million financial cards in circulation in 2006.

·         ICICI bank, India’s largest private sector bank, has around 2,200 ATMs across India. It is also the second largest in terms of financial cards in circulation, with over 13 million in 2006.

·         UTI is one of the earliest private sector banks to start operations in India in 1994. It has around 1,737 ATMs, making it one of the largest networks in the country after SBI and ICICI.

·         Punjab National Bank (PNB), from modest beginnings, is today a front-line banking institution. It has 550 PNB ATMs and 11,000 ATMs through tie-ups with other banks. 

·         SBI & ICICI Bank have both followed a policy of avoiding multi-lateral shared ATM networks and opting for bi-lateral arrangements. While SBI has reciprocal ATM sharing arrangements with UTI Bank, HDFC Bank, Andhra Bank, Indian Bank, PNB and Corporation Bank, it is not a member of any multi-lateral network, not even NFS. ICICI Bank has reciprocal arrangements with Andhra Bank and Federal Bank, but it was the first bank to join NFS. HDFC Bank, which recently joined Cashnet, has also been avoiding multi-lateral ATM networks to date and relying more on reciprocal arrangements. Bi-lateral sharing of ATM networks is more popular among banks in India and is likely to co-exist with various multi-lateral sharing arrangements.

·         SBI has launched a “Rollout of ATM Prototype” as an initiative whereby cards are personalised for all eligible customers and handed out at the branches. To help them to acquaint themselves with ATM usage, dedicated support from ATM Dost is provided. ATM Dost is the bank’s marketing representative, selected from branch staff who give customers their cards and educate them about its usage and advantages. 

·         During the first half year of the 2005-2006 financial year, the new ATM prototype was rolled out to new 514 branches in 11 Circles. Another 500 branches were rolled out by the last quarter 2005. There was an increase in ATM usage and average of one million transactions took place in the network.

·         Andhra Bank has introduced an innovative ATM facility called “Quik Ticket”, which enables those holding an Andhra Bank debit or ATM card, or any Visa card, to book a flight with Kingfisher Airlines and also to purchase Kingfisher Airlines tickets through its network of 500 ATMs.


Prospects

·         India’s number of ATMs per million people, at 10, is one of the lowest in the world – the potential for expanding the ATM network is thus tremendous, with the increase starting in country’s tier II cities. 

·         Interoperability between ATM networks for ATM cardholders from different banks is expected to take place by 2008-2009. Towards this objective, the IDRBT set up a “national financial switch” (NFS) in October 2006, to which all banks could connect to. At the time of writing, NFS had only six members.

·         There is a growing interest towards “white-label” ATMs or “no-name ATMs”. These are mostly owned and operated by private companies, not financial institutions. They provide an alternative source of cash withdrawal vis-à-vis traditional bank ATMs. Many companies are interested in this model, whereby the ATM is not owned by a bank but by a third party which deploys them and charges a fee on every transaction. White-Label ATMs are currently only at the conceptual stage in India as there are regulatory issues, particularly concerning the ownership of the cash in the ATM, which need to be addressed before this concept takes off. 

·         The central bank is pursuing the banks to introduce low-cost ATMs in rural areas in order to extend banking facilities. These ATMs would work as multi-service delivery channels providing better services to consumers.

·         The future of ATMs and self-service terminals lies in multi-tasking. Banks are increasingly looking at including additional services in ATMs. NCR Corporation, a maker of ATMs, has created a model which enables consumers to make bill payments, buy airline, railway or cinema tickets, print passbooks and renew driving licences. NCR is in the process of deploying or evaluating such a system for the banks. These ATMs are expected to trim costs, generate revenue and enhance customer loyalty.


Source-Euromonitor International : Country Sector Briefing April 2008
 
If you want Dissertations, Thesis, Case Studies, Project Reports, Essays, Assignments, Coursework, Term Papers , Presentations and Research Papers Writing help, contact Mahasagar Publications for Project Report on ATM Cards in India.


          United States Treaty Research and Interpretation        

This guide is a comprehensive resource to finding treaties to which the United States is a party – official and unofficial, bilateral and multi-lateral, print and electronic.

Prepared by Teresa Miguel, Yale and Marylin Raisch, Georgetown.


          VIRTUAL BRIEFING: "TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS AFTER THE FIRST 100 DAYS"        
By AnnaMarie Bliss
On May 3, 2017, the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh and the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at Florida International University held a videoconference discussion entitled "Transatlantic Relations after the first 100 days" to discuss EU/U.S. relations following the beginning of the Trump Administration. Panelists included Alasdair Young (Professor of International Affairs, Co-Director for the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies, The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech), Kathleen McInnis (International Security Analyst, Congressional Research Service), and Michael H. Smith (Professor in European Politics, University of Warwick). Markus ThielAssoc. Prof. & Director, Jean Monnet EU Center of Excellence, Florida International University, acted as the moderator.

The European Union Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign co-sponsored the event, hosting a viewing and discussion space on campus.

Event abstract:
The referendum on Brexit and the new foreign policy priorities of American President Donald Trump hold the potential for significantly altering EU-US relations over the next few years. What are the prospects for a multi-lateral trade agreement? Have new security concerns changed traditional defense priorities? How does the current state of the Transatlantic relationship compare to other episodes in its history? What can American businesses and professionals expect moving forward?

A video recording of the event can be viewed here:





          Asus Prime X299-Deluxe Motherboard Review        

Introduction

The new X299 platform brings a number of new features and enhancements over the previous X99 platform. First and foremost is the ability to utilize the new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X 4-18 core X series processors via the new LGA 2066 socket. There’s added support for Intel Optane technology with Rapid Storage, faster throughput times thanks to DMI 3.0. 30 I/O lanes with support for  up to 24 PCIe lanes, eight SATA 3.0 ports, and 10 USB 3.0 ports. Overall it’s a nice step up from the X99 chipset.

Our test subject is the Prime X299-Deluxe, the current flagship of the Prime line up. It offers everything you’d expect in an Asus motherboard. There is support for 7th Generation Intel Core X series processors. Eight DDR4 memory slots that can handle up to 128GB and at speed all the way up to 4000Mhz in a quad channel configurations. There’s dual Turbo M.2 connectivity with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s with support for Intel Optane technology. Six SATA ports offer even more storage options. There USB 3.1 front panel connectors along with four USB 3.1 rear ports. The Intel i219V and I211-AT chips provides high quality network connectivity.

Asus didn’t stop there with the Prime X299-Deluxe though. 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 provides whole system optimization with a single click. 5X Protection III offers SafeSlot Core fortified PCI-E slots, LANGuard LAN protection, overvoltage, stainless steel I/O, and and DIGI+ VRM: digital power design.  Asus’ also added their own Aura Sync RGB lighting system with Lighting control, dual RGB strip headers and lighting effects synchronization with compatible Asus ROG products. On top of all that, a full software suite and robust overclocking features are also included.

ASUS's take on the Prime X299-Deluxe

  • Designed for 7th generation LGA2066 socket Intel® Core™ X-Series processors to maximize connectivity and speed with U.2 port, dual M.2, Thunderbolt EX 3, front panel USB 3.1, onboard 802.11AC/AD WIFI, Intel® VROC and Intel® Optane™ Memory compatibility
  • 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to your unique build for maximum OC performance and dynamic system cooling
  • Patent-pending SafeSlot (3X) features an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
  • Unmatched Personalization with ASUS exclusive AURA Sync RGB lighting, additional RGB header and 3D-printing mounts to customize your build
  • Industry-leading 8-channel HD audio enhanced by ASUS exclusive Realtek S1220A featuring Crystal Sound 3 and driven by Japanese capacitors for warm, immersive sound

Specifications

CPU

Build in Intel® Socket 2066 Core™ X-Series Processors

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 support depends on the CPU types

* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset

Build in Intel® X299

Memory

Intel® Core™ X-series Processors (6-core above)

8 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 4000(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

Intel® Core™ X-series Processors (4-core)

4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 4000(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Multi-GPU Support

Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology

Supports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology

Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology

Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots

44-Lane CPU-

3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x16, x16/x16/x8)

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) *1

28-Lane CPU-

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x8)

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) *1

16-Lane CPU-

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x2 mode) *1

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1 (x1 mode) *2

Storage

Intel® X299 Chipset :

1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*3

7 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)*4

1 x U.2 port

Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10

Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology

Support Intel® Rapid Storage Technology enterprise 5.1 for X-Series(6-core and above) CPU RAID

Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

LAN

Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring Turbo LAN

Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN, featuring Turbo LAN

Dual Gigabit LAN controllers- 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) appliance

ASUS Turbo LAN Utility

ASUS LAN Guard

Wireless Data Network

Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac+ WiGig 802.11ad*5

Supports MU-MIMO

Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz+ 60GHz

Up to 4600Mbps transfer speed

Bluetooth

Bluetooth V4.1

Audio

Realtek® ALC S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs

- Internal audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers

- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

Audio Feature :

- DTS Connect

- DTS Headphone:X

- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference

- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals

- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity

- Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs

- EMI protection cover to prevent electrical noise to affect the amplifier quality

Separate layer for left and right track, ensuring both sound deliver equal quality

USB Ports

ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller : *6

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (1 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller :

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (Type-A + USB Type-CTM)

Intel® X299 Chipset :

5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (1 at back panel, , 4 at mid-board)

Intel® X299 Chipset :

6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 2 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub :

3 x USB port(s) (3 at back panel, )

Special Features

OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology

5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5

- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo Core App

ASUS 5X Protection III :

- ASUS SafeSlot Core: Fortified PCIe Slot prevents damage

- ASUS LANGuard: Protects against LAN surges, lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges!

- ASUS Overvoltage Protection: World-class circuit-protecting power design

- ASUS Stainless-Steel Back I/O: 3X corrosion-resistance for greater durability!

- ASUS DIGI+ VRM: 10 Phase digital power design

- ASUS Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection - Short circuit damage prevention

- ASUS ESD Guards - Enhanced ESD protection

AURA :

- Aura RGB Strip Headers

- Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices

- Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)

ASUS Exclusive Features :

- USB BIOS Flashback

- MemOK!

- AI Suite 3

- Ai Charger

- Onboard Button : Power/Reset

- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface

- Turbo LAN

File Transfer

- Cloud GO!

- File Transfer

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :

- Stylish Fanless Design with M.2 Heat-sink solution

ASUS EZ DIY :

- ASUS EZ Flash 3

- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback

- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode

- Multi-language BIOS

ASUS Q-Design :

- ASUS Q-Shield

- ASUS Q-Code

- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED, HDD LED)

- ASUS Q-Slot

- ASUS Q-DIMM

- ASUS Q-Connector

M.2 and U.2 Onboard (The Latest Transfer Technology with up to 32Gb/s Data-transfer Speeds for M.2 and U.2)

Back I/O Ports

2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)

2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ()Type-A

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ()USB Type-CTM

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1

4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x Audio jack(s)

1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)

1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac+ WiGig 802.11ad and Bluetooth v4.1)

Internal I/O Ports

1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)

1 x AAFP connector

1 x Aura RGB Strip Header

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)

2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

7 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)

1 x M.2_FAN connector ()

1 x VROC_HW_Key ()

1 x CPU Fan connector(s)

1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)

2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)

1 x W_PUMP+ connector

1 x AIO_PUMP connector

1 x Thunderbolt header(s)

1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)

1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)

1 x EZ XMP switch

1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)

1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector

1 x MemOK! button(s)

1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)

1 x Power-on button(s)

1 x Reset button(s)

1 x Clear CMOS button(s)

1 x U.2 connector

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

1 x CPU_OV jumper

Accessories

User's manual

ASUS Q-Shield

1 x Vertical M.2 bracket set

6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)

1 x M.2 Screw Package

1 x Supporting DVD

1 x ASUS WiGig 802.11ad moving antenna *7

1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)

1 x Fan Extension Card (3 x 4-pin fan out)

1 x Fan Extension card screw pack

1 x ThunderboltEX 3

1 x mini DisplayPort Cable

1 x ThunderboltEX 3 GPIO cable

1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)

1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)

1 x Q-Connector

3 x Thermistor cable(s)

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS,

ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information

Manageability

WfM 2.0, DMI 3.0, WOL by PME, PXE

Support Disc

Drivers

ASUS Utilities

EZ Update

Anti-virus software (OEM version)

Operating System

Windows® 10 64-bit

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor

12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Packaging and Unboxing

The ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe comes in a dark grey, almost black box with blue highlights in the background. The Prime X299-Deluxe is featured predominately. Quite a few of the key features are highlighted as well.

The rear of the box carries over the color scheme from the front. Again the Prime X299-Deluxe is shown, this time with specific highlights pointed out. There is also the basic specifications listed and an explanation of some its more unique features.

The front of the box opens up to reveals a picture of the Prime X299-Deluxe and a listing of the more unique features.

There is also a window that displays the motherboard.

The Prime X299-Deluxe is tucked away in an antistatic bag and framed by a cardboard tray.

Under the cardboard tray reside all the accessories.

ASUS has included a User Guide, a driver/utility disk, and a coupon for 20% off a set of Cablemod cables.

A ThunderboltEX 3 riser card is included, along with a driver disk and manual.

A pair of WiFi antennas are also included.

There six included SATA 6.0 Gb/s cables.

Dual and triple Nvidia SLI bridges, plus a M.2 vertical mount.

There’s a rear I/O shield and a RGB extension cable.

There is also a M.2 screw package, a fan extension card screw pack, and Asus’ own Q-Connector.

A fan extension card and cable allow for additional fans.

A ThunderboltEX 3 GPIO cable and three thermistor cables.

Finally there is a mini DisplayPort cable.

A Closer Look

The Prime X299-Deluxe is part of Asus’s Prime line-up of motherboards. Asus has chosen to give series names to each of its motherboard lines, with Prime being Asus’ mainstream motherboard line.

The white with silver highlight cosmetic design looks clean and easy on the eye. The Prime X299-Deluxe’s appearance is very similar to the Prime Z270-A we reviewed a short time ago, has a bit more sculptured and angular look.

The back panel of the Prime X299-Deluxe offers plenty of connection options. There are four USB 3.1 ports, consisting of three Type-A and one Type-C. There are four USB 2.0 and four USB 3.0 ports as well. Five audio jacks and an Optical S/PDIF out port provide options for audio. The RJ-45 port is driven the I219-V Intel chipset while the other is driven by the I211-AT Intel chipset. The antenna jacks are for the Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac+ WiGig 802.11ad and Bluetooth v4.1.

The lower rear of the motherboard contains few connectors and headers; including analog front panel audio, power button, reset button, Q-Code LED readout, clear CMOS button, and MemOK button.

The lower front of the motherboard contains most of the rest of front panel connections. Here we find a USB 3.0, a USB 2.0, a 4-pin fan header, and the front panel. There are also a 5-pin external fan connector, 4-pin RGB header, and the EZ XMP switch.

Also located here is the lower M.2 socket hidden under the southbridge heatsink. This socket support 2242/2260/2280 PCI-E storage drives along with Intel’s Optane and Rapid Storage technologies.

The lower front of the motherboard contains 6 SATA 6.0 connectors. A U.2 header, and a second USB 3.0 header. There is no support for SATA Express.

The upper front of the motherboard has the diagnostic LED’s, the 24 pin power connector, a USB 3.1 front panel header, a vertical M.2 header, and a 4-pin fan connector. The eight DDR4 DIMM slots support quad channel memory at speeds up to 4000 MHz.

The Intel LGA 2066 socket. Things are a bit snug around the CPU socket, which is not uncommon with modern motherboards.

The upper section of the Prime X299-Deluxe contains 8-pin and 4-pin power connections to ensure no matter the CPU or overclock there is ample current delivery. A second 4-pin RGB header and two fan headers are located here as well.

System Configuration, BIOS, and Software

Testing Hardware

  • ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe
  • Intel Core i7 7740X Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 2666MHz DRR4 Memory
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Windforce Graphics Card
  • Crucial M550 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Spotswood Small Tech Station
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply

Drivers

  • GeForce 375.95

CPU Cooling:

  • Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige AIO

Testing Operating System:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home

General System Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Super Pi

CPU Benchmarks:

  • Fritz Chess
  • Handbrake
  • Cinebench R15
  • 7-Zip

Memory Benchmarks:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0
  • SiSoft Sandra

Storage Benchmarks:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0
  • AS SSD
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0

Game Benchmarks:

  • 3Dmark
  • Alien: Isolation
  • Grand Theft Auto: V
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Thief

BIOS

The Prime X299-Deluxe BIOS has quite a few screens and settings, far too numerous to display all of them here, so we will just take a look at the basics. The screens are fairly self-explanatory.

Asus Prime X299-Deluxe Motherboard Review

The Prime X299-Deluxe BIOS is an absolute pleasure to look at and to work with. After a bit of familiarization, I found it easy to navigate a very intuitive. I never had a single issue finding a single setting that I was looking for.

Software

ASUS packages the Prime X299-Deluxe with a robust software suite. Up first is Ai Suite III. This is utility used for overclocking and tweaking inside the Windows environment.

Live Dash as a combination hardware monitor and logo tool.

Asus Aura controls the LED lighting effects of the motherboard. It is also capable for controlling case lighting via a motherboard mounted RGB LED connector and Asus Aura certified components.

Asus Turbo LAN is used for network adjustments. Various profiles can be made for prioritizing the user’s programs.

A ASUS themed edition of CPU-Z is also packaged with the Prime X299-Deluxe.

ASUS also packages Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, Norton Internet Security, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, and Google Drive with the Prime X299-Deluxe.

Performance Testing

General Performance Testing

All performance testing was done with the i7 7740X clocked to its default settings, as is the GTX 1070. The Kingston HyperX Fury memory was set to XMP Profile 2. Games where ran at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and higher settings enabled. Do to the lack of comparative data, systems of the closest available configuration were used.

PCMark 8

"Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices."

Right out of the hole we see the Prime X299-Deluxe pull ahead of the competition. The Prime X299-Deluxe appears to use a bit more aggressive Turbo setting than the default Intel setting. The result is a bit more performance for the user.

Super PI Modded 1.5

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

CPU Performance Testing

Handbrake

“HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.”

The workload video file is a ~6.27 GB, 3840 x 1714, 73.4 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mov video file that is transcoded to a ~1480 MB, 1920x858, ~17.1 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mp4 video file. Transcoding is done using Intel Quick Sync.

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess is a benchmark in which a fictitious game of chess is played. As each move has to be calculated by the computer, it is an excellent test of CPU muscle.

CINEBENCH R15

"CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It's completely free."

7-Zip

The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken.

 

Memory Performance Testing

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

Passmark Performance Test - Memory Mark - Threaded

“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”

 

Storage Testing

 

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry's leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark"

CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds."

AS SSD

"Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD's access time.

Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive's behavior when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data's compressibility."

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”

Performance Testing continued

Game Testing

3DMark – Fire Strike

"Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today"

3DMark – Time Spy

"3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PC’s. Time Spay is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”

Alien: Isolation

"Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmospheres of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.”

Grand Theft Auto: V

"When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.”

Metro: Last Light

"It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above."

Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At it's  highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to  their knees.

Thief

"Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach."

Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD's Mantle API, as well as Microsoft's common DirectX 11 API.

Overclocking

We’ve recently changed how we test overclocking performance. With newer BIOS and software becoming increasingly more capable of doing overclocking, it seems pertinent to also include those results.

Overclocking – BIOS

The Prime X299-Deluxe BIOS offers simple CPU overclocking, power consumption tuning, and fan tuning via its EZ Tuning Wizard. Once clicked, EZ Tuning Wizard reboots and does its thing. The only user input that’s required is choosing the computer’s usage, choosing the cooling solution, and clicking next.

Introduction

With the release of Ryzen and the X370 chipset, we’ve received a slew of new motherboards, including the Asus Prime X370-Pro. For those who don’t know, Prime is the new name for the Asus mainstream motherboards. Previously their mainstream motherboards didn’t have conventional naming, but that has changed. Prime motherboards have a much more conventional look compared to their ROG – Republic of Gamers, Tuf, and Pro Gamer lines.

Our focus today is the Prime X370-Pro. It offers everything you’d expect in an Asus motherboard. There is support for AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors. The four DDR4 memory slots memory that can handle up to 64GB and at speed all the way up to 3200Mhz. There’s Turbo M.2 connectivity with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s. Six SATA ports offer even more storage options. There’s a USB 3.1 front panel connector along with three USB 3.1 rear ports. The Intel I211-AT chip provides high quality network connectivity. Indeed Asus has made sure all the basics are here.

Asus has also included all the features enthusiasts have come to expect in an Asus motherboard. 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 provides whole system optimization with a single click. 5X Protection III offers SafeSlot Core fortified PCI-E slots, LANGuard LAN protection, overvoltage, stainless steel I/O, and DIGI+ VRM digital power design.  Asus also added their own Aura Sync RGB lighting system with Lighting control, RGB strip header and lighting effects synchronization with compatible Asus products. On top of all that, there’s usual full software suite.

Asus's take on the Prime X370-Pro

ASUS Prime is the next evolution of the ASUS motherboard, born of a pedigree that stretches back to 1989. Our team of world-class engineers are passionate about empowering everyone to enjoy the benefits of customization and tuning, and the driving force behind the development of Prime is to make advanced enthusiast controls easily accessible — maximizing performance, stability and compatibility for the very best DIY PC experiences. Simply stated: it's time for Prime.

AMD AM4 ATX motherboard with Aura Sync, DDR4 3200MHz, 32Gb/s M.2, DP/HDMI, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.1

  • 5-Way Optimization: One-click system-wide tuning that now also senses GPU temperatures to ensure cooler gaming
  • ASUS Aura Sync – World’s first synced RGB lighting with easy controls to orchestrate Aura Sync-capable hardware
  • Refined Audio: Realtek ALC1220 codec provides pristine and powerful audio quality
  • ASUS SafeSlot: Patent-pending PCIe with enhanced retention and shearing resistance
  • 5X Protection III: Multiple hardware safeguards to protect components from damage by power or electrical surges

Specifications and Features

CPU

  • AMD AM4 Socket for AMD Ryzen ™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
  • Supports AM4 Socket 14 nm CPU
  • Supports CPU up to 8 cores

Chipset

  • AMD X370

Memory

  • AMD Ryzen ™ Processors

- 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz ECC and non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

  • AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors

- 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

  • Dual Channel Memory Architecture

Graphic

  • Integrated AMD Radeon™ R Series Graphics in the 7th Generation A-Series APU *1
  • Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports

- Supports HDMI 1.4b with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz

- Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz

  • Maximum shared memory of 2048 MB displays

Multi-GPU Support

  • Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
  • Supports AMD CrossFireX Technology

Expansion Slots

  • AMD Ryzen ™ Processors

- 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)

  • AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors

-1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode)

  • AMD X370 chipset

- 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)

  • AMD X370 chipset

- 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Storage

Intel® X370 Chipset :

  • AMD Ryzen ™ Processors

- 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)

  • AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors

- 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 2 mode)

  • AMD X370 chipset

- 8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray,
- Support Raid 0, 1, 10

LAN

  • Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
  • ASUS Turbo LAN Utility
  • ASUS LAN Guard

Audio

  • Realtek® ALC S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
- Front panel audio connector (AAFP)

  • Audio Feature

- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity

USB Ports

  • AMD Ryzen ™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors

- 4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, Type-A)

  • AMD X370 chipset

1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector port(s)

  • AMD X370 chipset

- 4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, Type-A + Type-C, 2 at mid-board)

  • AMD X370 chipset

- 4 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at mid-board)

  • ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller

- 2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, teal blue, Type-A)

Special Features

  • 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors

- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.

  • ASUS 5X Protection III

- ASUS SafeSlot Core: Fortified PCIe Slot prevents damage
- ASUS LANGuard: Protects against LAN surges, lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges!
- ASUS Overvoltage Protection: World-class circuit-protecting power design
- ASUS Stainless-Steel Back I/O: 3X corrosion-resistance for greater durability!
- ASUS DIGI+ VRM: 10 Phase digital power design
- ASUS Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection - Short circuit damage prevention
- ASUS ESD Guards - Enhanced ESD protection

  • ASUS TPU

- Auto Tuning

  • ASUS EPU

- EPU

  • AURA

- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers
- Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices

  • ASUS Exclusive Features

- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger
- Turbo LAN
- PC Cleaner

  • ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution

- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution & MOS Heatsink
- ASUS Fan Xpert 4

  • ASUS EZ DIY

- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Multi-language BIOS

  • ASUS Q-Design

- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector

  • Overclocking Protection

- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

  • Turbo App

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (teal blue)Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Gen 1 Type-C
  • 5 x USB 3.0 Gen 1
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack(s)

Internal I/O Ports

  • 1 x Aura RGB Strip Header
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 Gen 1 port(s) (19-pin)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode & PCIE mode)
  • 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (2 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
  • 1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
  • 1 x COM port header
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Accessories

  • User's manual
  • ASUS Q-Shield
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
  • 1 x M.2 Screw Package
  • 1 x Supporting DVD
  • 1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
  • 1 x Q-connector(s) (1 in 1)s

BIOS

  • 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.

Manageability

  • WFM2.0, DMI3.0, WOL by PME, PXE

Operating System

  • Windows® 10 64-bit

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor
  • 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Packaging and Unboxing

The ASUS Prime X370-Pro comes in a dark grey, almost black box with blue highlights in the background. The Prime X370-Pro is featured predominately. Quite a few of the key features are highlighted as well; most notably Ryzen, Aura Sync, 5-Optimization, and USB 3.1.

The rear of the box carries over the color scheme from the front. Again the Prime X370-Pro is shown, this time with specific highlights pointed out. There is also the basic specifications listed and an explanation of some its more unique features.

The Prime X370-Pro is tucked away in an antistatic bag and framed by a cardboard tray.

All the accessories are located in the bottom of the box under the motherboard.

There’s very few accessories included. First we find a User Guide, utility disk, M.2 mounting hardware, and NVidia SLI bridge..

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There is also a rear I/O shield, a coupon for 20% off CableMod cables, and Asus Q-Connector.

Four SATA cables round out the included accessories.

A Closer Look

The Prime X370-Pro is part of Asus’s Prime line-up of motherboards. Asus has chosen to give series names to each of its motherboard lines, with Prime added last. Prime is Asus’ mainstream motherboard line.

The white with silver highlight cosmetic design looks clean and easy on the eye.

There are two USB 1.1 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one USB 3.1 Type-C port. The RJ-45 port is driven the I211-AT Intel chipset. Four audio out jacks, with a microphone in jack and optical port provide audio connections. There are also HDMI and DVI video connections. A PS/2 ports adds legacy keyboard and mouse support.

Two of the three PCI-E 16x slots feature Asus’ SafeSlot metal reinforcement. TThe front panel audio header, TPM header reside towards the rear of the motherboard. Towards the center are one of two USB 2.0 headers.

The lower front section of the motherboard also contains the second USB 2.0 headers, a thermal sensor header, dual fan headers, and the front panel header.

The area around the CPU socket feels quite roomy. The lower left is a RGB header, a chassis fan header, and an AIO/water pump header.

There are a total of eight SATA 6.0 connectors.

The 24-pin ATX power connector resides towards the top. Just below it is a front panel USB 3.1 connector.  The four memory slots support DDR4 at speeds up to 3200 MHz. The two more fan headers and are located at the very top.

A 8-pin CPU power connector reside on the very top of the motherboard.

The M.2 socket supports both SATA and PCI-E 3.0 x4 M-key 2242/2260/2280/22100 drives.

System Configuration, BIOS, and Software

Testing Hardware

  • Asus Prime X370-Pro
  • Intel Core i7 7700K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 2666MHz DRR4 Memory
  • Gigabyte Windforce GTX 1070 Graphics Card
  • Crucial M550 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Spotswood Small Tech Station
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply

Drivers

  • Radeon Crimson 16.4.1

CPU Cooling:

  • Swiftech H320 X2 Prestige AIO

Testing Operating System:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home

General System Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Super Pi

CPU Benchmarks:

  • Fritz Chess
  • Handbrake
  • Cinebench R15
  • 7-Zip

Memory Benchmarks:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0
  • SiSoft Sandra

Storage Benchmarks:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0
  • AS SSD
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0

Game Benchmarks:

  • 3Dmark
  • Bioshock: Infinite
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Thief
  • Tomb Raider

BIOS

The Asus Prime X370-Pro BIOS has quite a few screens and settings, far too numerous to display all of them here, so we will just take a look at the basics. The screens are fairly self-explanatory.

There’s a reason Asus has received so many awards for its BIOS design. The Prime X370-Pro BIOS is an absolute pleasure to look at and to work with. After a bit of familiarization, I found it easy to navigate a very intuitive. I never had a single issue finding a single setting that I was looking for.

Software

ASUS packages the Prime X370-Pro with a robust software suite. Up first is Asus Command Center. This is utility used for overclocking and tweaking inside the Windows environment.

Asus Aura controls the LED lighting effects of the motherboard. It is also capable for controlling case lighting via a motherboard mounted RGB LED connector and Asus Aura certified components.

Asus Turbo LAN is used for network adjustments. Various profiles can be made for prioritizing the user’s programs.

WebStorage does exactly as the name implies, it allows the user to store files via the Web.

 

Performance Testing

General Performance Testing

All performance testing was done with the AMD Ryzen  1700 and Gigabyte GTX 1070 at stock clocks. Games where ran at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and higher settings enabled.

 

PCMark 8

"Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices."

Super PI Modded 1.5

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

CPU Performance Testing

Handbrake

“HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.”

The workload video file is a ~6.27 GB, 3840 x 1714, 73.4 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mov video file that is transcoded to a ~1480 MB, 1920x858, ~17.1 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mp4 video file. Transcoding is done using Intel Quick Sync.

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess is a benchmark in which a fictitious game of chess is played. As each move has to be calculated by the computer, it is an excellent test of CPU muscle.

CINEBENCH R15

"CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It's completely free."

7-Zip

The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken.

 

Memory Performance Testing

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

Passmark Performance Test - Memory Mark - Threaded

“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark PerformanceTest ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”

The Prime X370-Pro returned very good results in our memory testing. AMD updated the BIOS between the MSI X370 Gaming Titanium and the Asus Prime X370-Pro reviews. This axplains some of the deviance.

Storage Testing

The Prime X370-Pro features both standard SATA and M.2 storage connections, so both will be included here.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry's leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark"


SATA


M.2

CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds."


SATA


M.2

AS SSD

"Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD's access time.

Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive's behavior when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data's compressibility."


SATA


M.2

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.”


SATA


M.2

There typically isn’t much difference between X370 motherboards when it comes to SATA performance. The Prime X370-Pro falls in exactly where is should and doesn’t show any potential issues.

Performance Testing continued

Game Testing

3DMark – Fire Strike

"Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today's high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today"

3DMark – Time Spy

"3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PC’s. Time Spay is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”

CINEBENCH R15

"CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It's completely free."

Alien: Isolation

"Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmospheres of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.”

Grand Theft Auto: V

"When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.”

Metro: Last Light

"It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above."

Thief

"Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach."

 

 

Overclocking

We’ve recently changed how we test overclocking performance. With newer BIOS and software becoming increasingly more capable of doing overclocking, it seems pertinent to also include those results.

Overclocking – BIOS

The TUF X370 Mark 1 BIOS offers simple CPU overclocking, power consumption tuning, and fan tuning via its EZ Tuning Wizard. Once clicked, EZ Tuning Wizard reboots and does its thing. The only user input that’s required is choosing the computer’s usage, choosing the cooling solution, and clicking next.

The BIOS automatically overclocked the CPU to 4.944 GHz (48 x 103 MHz). The 103 Mhz BCLK also meant that the memory was also overclocked to 2746 Mhz. CPU voltage is a touch high when under 100% load, but perfectly fine the rest of the time.

Overclocking - Software

Asus’ own Ai Suite 3 software took care of the overclocking duties here via its 5-Way Optimization program. There are a few selections when deciding how aggressive the user wants the overclock to be. I chose the most aggressive of all the selections. An option of per core aka Turbo or all core is available. I choose per core to see how high a single or dual core clock could go.

5-Way Optimization automatically overclocked the CPU to 3.8GHz (38x100 MHz ) for all four cores with a 5.0GHz (0 x 100 MHz ) turbo. This is less that the EZ Tuning Wizard overclock and the voltage was higher. Like the EZ Tuning Wizard, 5-Way Optimization program also tuned the system power consumption profile and the fans.

Overclocking - Manual

I started out configuring the Ryzen 7 1700 at its default settings with the BIOS. Once the default settings were in, it was now time to see how high I could push the CPU with our water cooling system and have it still be 100% stable. All cores and SMT were still enabled. The memory was left at XMP default, the Line Load Calibration was changed from setting 1 to setting 7, EZ System Tuning (system power consumption profile) was set to Performance, and the fans were set to maximum.

We managed to squeeze 4.25GHz out of it with the Prime X370-Pro. The voltage is a bit high at 1.44v. Interestingly, the settings I used were identical for what Ai Suite 3’s 5-Way Optimization used, including the voltage.

Out of the 3 solutions, manual overclocking wins, but only if you’re adept at overclocking and you want to achieve the highest results. EZ Tuning Wizard is likely the best solution for most people, thanks to its ease and I was quite happy with the results. The Ai Suite 3’s 5-Way Optimization would be my last choice. It did a fine job, but didn’t quite achieve near the same overclock as we did with the other two solutions.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The Prime X370-Pro brings everything from Asus Intel Prime lines to Ryze

          Comment on How We May Change the “Charitable-Industrial Complex” by nathanr (@nathanr)        
Go Blair -- I think you and Peter share the same essence of looking for systems that will work and leverage both the risk capital + abundance of dollars to make the world a better place. Having seen both you and Peter in action, I can say that you are both looking to break the paradigm in a way that will make "charitable" activities less window dressing and more a shifting of systems. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and IRC Director in Liberia-- I have seen waste across the development spectrum particularly with multi-lateral and international UN agencies that warrants a ICC case; however, I believe that Jeff takes the right approach of focusing on the intersection of "good" intentions and "good" models. Let's all get to it. When is your next Salon and you should invite Peter & Jennifer!?
          Comment on How We May Change the “Charitable-Industrial Complex” by Jeffrey C. Walker        
Blair, i think your are great. Peter Buffet seems to think that his and other wealthy individual's giving is just about being throwing money or that their giving is only because of guilt. I have seen less of that and the people with money that i know are looking for more...real partnership with many (they are taking a humanist orientation). Peter's comments appear skeptical that a true partnership can be built between those with money and those that bring other resources to the table. That is the whole point of building a generosity network...that everyone brings unique resources to the table (time, network, money, creativity, etc.) to address the causes that no one person or entity can address alone. Many people from all parts of life joined together with us to end deaths from Malaria from corporations like Sumitomo Chemical, ExxonMobil to Foundations like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to individuals like Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin from Fox, like multi-lateral organizations such as the Global Fund, Department for International Development, USAID, to non-profits like Save the Children UK to UN agencies like UNICEF and US Agencies like The Peace Corps, small firms like A to Z funded by Acumen Fund and religious organizations like World Vision and many other individuals in each country to walked miles carrying bed nets. They all focused on a common goal, ending deaths from Malaria and have cut deaths in half in four years...amazing. We can do more collaborations across all income and stakeholder groups like these. Even the wealthy are looking for a more meaningful life and want to experience the joy of working with others accomplish something that they couldn't do alone.
          Is the TPP a threat to U.S. auto makers?        
On the surface, it sounds like easing trade restrictions with foreign nations could present new opportunities and more business for American companies like the Detroit Three automakers. But, is there a deeper danger to American jobs in these overseas trade agreements? Michigan Democratic Congressman Gary Peters voiced his concerns about a new multi-lateral trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
          A theologian's take on how to avoid conflict with North Korea        

Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2017 / 11:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Dialogue and prudent actions to uphold international resolutions are key to maintaining peace amid rising tensions between North Korea and the international community, one theologian said.

“Dialogue is critical to resolving this particular issue,” Dr. Joseph Capizzi, a moral theologian at the Catholic University of America, told CNA. “We have kicked the can down the road for 50-plus years, with regard to Korea.”

“And the further we kick the can down the road, the more difficult the situation becomes, the less solvable it becomes by the use of force. So dialogue is more essential now than it ever was before.”

The Vatican has shown concern over the developing situation and has also expressed the need for dialogue between countries. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, said on Wednesday that the “way of conflict is always the wrong way.”

“The way forward is not that of having the latest military technology, but of having an approach of inclusion,” the archbishop said, as reported by Vatican Radio.

In July, North Korea successfully tested ballistic missiles that had the capability of reaching the U.S. mainland, following a series of launches of medium-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles earlier this year.

Then on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that North Korea had produced a small-enough nuclear warhead that could be placed inside a missile, according to intelligence analysts. North Korea reportedly has as many as 60 nuclear weapons, according to one United States estimate.

On Wednesday, DPRK state media reported that the Kim Jong-Un regime was considering a strike against the island of Guam in the West Pacific, the westernmost U.S. territory and one from which B-1 bombers have flown over the Korean peninsula in military exercises. The AP followed up on Thursday by reporting that a plan for North Korea to launch four missiles aimed to land in the ocean within 25 miles of Guam, as an exercise of its threat to the U.S. territory, had been hatched and could be submitted for approval in the next week to Kim Jong Un.

Because of North Korea’s continued nuclear buildup and its ballistic missile tests, the UN Security Council unanimously voted last weekend to impose more sanctions on the Communist dictatorship.

President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday that if North Korea continued to threaten the United States, they would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a Wednesday press conference that “what the President is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language.”

“I think the President just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S. unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies,” he said.

The need for dialogue carries with it the importance of prudence and “sobriety” in the rhetoric of U.S. and world leaders, Capizzi said.

“We do want to engage them,” he said. “We’re trying to pull back some of the incendiary nature of the rhetoric. And then to have the President immediately follow that up with the ‘fire and fury’ comment, it makes us seem erratic. It makes us seem inconsistent,” he said.

Yet, he added, “action is much more important here than rhetoric.” The international sanctions, and the unanimous vote of UN Security Council members – including even Russia and China -- to impose them, were an important step to take, he said, “to induce North Korea to stop testing missiles.”

Also, the actions that have not been taken are important, he said, like an overly aggressive mobilization of U.S. military forces.  “You don’t see our military or our navy sort of ratcheting up right now,” he said.

“That’s what we really need to keep our eyes on, is what is our military doing? Where are our ships going in that part of the world? What is Japan doing?” he said. “And so far I think everybody recognizes there’s nothing to gain by pushing this further. What we really want to do is sit down and see if we can negotiate out of this.”

Pope Francis, in an April 29 in-flight press conference during his return from Egypt, said that regarding the escalating international tensions with North Korea, “the path is the path of negotiation, the path of diplomatic solutions.”

“This world war in pieces of which I've been talking about for two years, more or less, it's in pieces, but the pieces have gotten bigger, they are concentrated, they are focused on points that are already hot,” he said.

“Things are already hot, as the issue of missiles in North Korea has been there for more than a year, now it seems that the thing has gotten too hot.”

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told UN News this summer “general disarmament -- that is a priority this year.”

“There is no doubt that the Catholic Church, Pope Francis now in particular, is very much against not only the use but also the possession of nuclear weapons,” he said.  

Leaders for the U.S. and European bishops also called for nuclear disarmament in a July 6 statement “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security.” Bishop Oscar Cantu, chair of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee, signed the statement along with Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions.

“For many, the horror of a potential nuclear war receded from consciousness with the end of the Cold War, but recent geopolitical developments remind us that our world remains in grave danger,” the bishops stated.

“Even a limited nuclear exchange would have devastating consequences for people and the planet. Tragically, human error or miscalculation could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.”

While the United Nations conference to negotiate the multi-lateral and legally-binding Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was wrapping up in July, the bishops said, the U.S. and “most European nations” were noticeably absent.

122 countries present voted in favor of the treaty, with one, the Netherlands, voting against it and Singapore abstaining, the UN reported.

“Nuclear states are making significant new investments to modernize nuclear arsenals. These costly programs will divert enormous resources from other pressing needs that build security, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” the bishops stated.

“The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence. We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”


                  
Q What is the definition and origin of International Law? Also discuss Nature, Scope, Source. International law and Domestic Law may also be differentiated.

Definition:  
 International Law is the law which determines the general conduct of  civilized states in their dealing with each other. International law maybe defined as the body of legal rules binding upon states in their relations with one another. It is a law whose primary function is to regulate the relations of states with one another. International law prescribes procedure for international agreements.

Origin of International Law:  
The ancient Jews, Greeks, Hindus and Muslims started with the International law and good code of conduct. Later on European colonial powers also contributed to International law. The Dutch Jurist, scholar and diplomat 'Grotius' is called the father of "Law of nations". However, the term International Law was coined by Bentham which is synonymous with the Law of Nations. Modern International law cam,e into being in 1920 during the League of Nations period.

Nature of International Law. Difference Municipal law and International Law:
There is a controversy regarding the nature of International law, whether it is a law or not. Some say that in the absence of centralized legislature. executive and judicial authority, it is disqualified as a law, while others say that they are inter-state rules with the consent of international community.
There is a difference between State(domestic/municipal) and International law. International alw is a law between states while municipal law applies within a state about the relation of its citizens. The scope of modern International alw has widened. The subject of International Law are both states and individuals.Therefore International alw is superior to national and municipal law. The public international law is concerned with the rights, duties and interests of individuals.

Scope of International Law:
The modern International alw unlike the traditional law from 1920 onwards, applies to several other entities e.g. International organizations, individuals and non-state entities. It has extended its operations further in the post world war-II period In the post war periods, the establishment of U.N.O, W.H.O, I.L.O tec have tremendously extended the scope of International alw.

Sources of International law:
The most important source of International alw are treaties, customs, decisions of tribunals and commissions setup at International level and decisions of the International court of justice. the treaties are the most important source of International law. An important multi-lateral treaty was the treaty of Westphalia (1648), Vienna Congress in 1815, Treaty of Versailles in 1919. ICJ has given a large number of judgements and advisory opinions and has contributed much to the International law.
A state is not bound by a treaty obligation until it incorporates it into its municipal law and the rules of international law are enforceable by consent. International law gives a procedure for the making of international procedure.


          Energy Security Policy ?        

Towards Energy Security?

Planning Commission of Pakistan prepared an Energy Security Plan (ESP) in 2005, and presented it with much fanfare to the then PM and the President. The Plan still remains operative in the books of the government departments, and is quoted and discussed annually in the Economic Survey. In practical terms, ESP was a non-starter. It was not implemented even by the previous government .By 2010, an additional 7880 MW of Electrical Power capacity was to be installed .Only a few hundred MW was installed and consequently we have a deficit of 4000 MW today. Why the “conscientious” Musharraf government was so derelict in meeting its responsibilities in this respect, is a serious question. Equally serious question is what the relevant bureaucracy was doing. Prime Minister Gilani fired the previous MD of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on this account, despite intense lobby in the favor of the latter’s extension of the contract. More heads should have rolled and a serious review of official practices in power sector ordered.

What is known can be visualized by one single example. A veritable Chinese company spent two years in Thar Coal field, prepared a feasibility study, offered to make the investment and supply electricity at the rate of 5.5 cents per unit. The then military commander holding charge of WAPDA for the reasons best known to him opposed and rejected the offer. We are buying electricity today at twice the Chinese offer and Thar Coal remains unexploited. It so incensed the Chinese that despite many requests the Chinese do not return to Thar.

Returning to the Energy Security Plan (ESP), there is hardly any possibility that it would be implemented as per its projections and estimates. The Plan was so grandiose and unrealistic which could have only pleased a fascist agenda and ruling culture. One gets nervous on our Planning Commission’s ability to become so frivolous in its planning practices. I will discuss the details a bit later in these passages, suffice it is to state here to support my contention that the ESP provided 4860 MW of generation capacity based on Natural Gas. Shortage of gas is in the country now for many years. It was known even in 2005, when the Plan was made. One may fail in long term projections, but what to term this kind of outright frivolity.

Long term projections can falter at the altar of reality especially in Pakistan’s boom-bust type economy and polity, reversing it in seven years cycles. ESP projected requirements of 72,270 MW by 2020, by the way of installing an additional 50,000 MW in the period 2010-2020, and again half of it to come on Natural Gas. Realistically speaking, only half of that would materialize. We should be thankful and happy, if half of that is achieved. There is no way that the demand could reach a level of 72,270 MW by 2020 in a matter of ten years. ESP predicts an electrical demand of 162,590 MW by 2030, again half of which to come from natural gas: very grotesque and unrealistic projection. Where are they seeing the gas from? Even if both the projects of LNG and the Iran-Pakistan pipeline were implemented and more of the same are added, this kind of gas wouldn’t be available.

Electricity demand in Pakistan has grown at a rate of 5% per year , and even at higher assumed rate of 7 % per annum ,the demand is to double every ten years , unless we become Chinese by some magic. By that robust formula, the demand would be 50,000 MW by 2020 , and 100,000 MW by 2030 , most of which should be planned to come from Thar Coal, Hydro ,renewables and nuclear and not from gas , as has been proposed in the ESP. There is, however, a potential of gas discoveries in Balochistan, if sufficient exploration effort and investment is directed. The prospects of such effort appear to be minimal in current political and law and order situation prevailing in that province. This may remain a much desired dream, and robust planning should not be based to depend so heavily on a break-through in that respect.

The problem with frivolous planning is that plans are not respected and a careless atmosphere ensues which results in shortfalls and other problems and inadequacies that we are facing today in energy sector. It is high time that ESP is buried with the kind of condemnation it deserves and a more realistic plan put into place and diligently implemented. Ironically, ESP was one of the rare indigenous planning efforts and failed miserably. Let us involve multi-lateral institutions in this as they do in all the other sectors to the chagrin of many nationalists and conspiracy theorists among us.

Energy security plan (Planning Commission) – 2030: electrical

Nuclear

Hydel

Coal

Renewable

Oil

Gas

Total

Cumulative MW

Existing (2005)

400

6,460

160

180

6,400

5,940

19,540

Addition

2010

---

1.260

900

700

160

4,860

7,880

27,420

2015

900

7,570

3,000

800

300

7,550

20,120

47,540

2020

1,500

4,700

4,200

1,470

300

12,560

24,730

72,270

2025

2,000

5,600

5,400

2,700

300

22,490

38,490

110,760

2030

4,00

7,070

6,250

3,850

300

30,360

51,830

162,590

Total

8,800

32,660

19,910

9,700

7,760

83,760

162,590

Source: Planning Commission of Pakistan / Economic survey of Pakistan 2008


          By: Chip Wood        
China has some very bright internationals that can plan in the very long range. Consider: will there be one world win-win MULTI-lateral government in 3000 with a global population that is in agreement and enthusiastic re its laws, are productive, happy, clever, creative, and bear problem free children? Ok, 4000? 5000? Get real. That’s what Confucius was talking about re “The Way”. Does anyone in the West get elected on such a platform? (No!) How many in Western history have thought openly about where we carbon-based humans are headed in the next thousand-plus years? (Yes, many.) My take is: “One World, One Dream” is not just a marketing quip. It’s a JV plan. It’s older than the English Language. The question is, in order to realize this plan, must we first kill, as Shakespeare wrote, all the lawyers? ;-)
          THE INTERNET        

Protocols
The complex communications infrastructure of the Internet consists of its hardware components and a system of software layers that control various aspects of the architecture. While the hardware can often be used to support other software systems, it is the design and the rigorous standardization process of the software architecture that characterizes the Internet and provides the foundation for its scalability and success. The responsibility for the architectural design of the Internet software systems has been delegated to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF conducts standard-setting work groups, open to any individual, about the various aspects of Internet architecture. Resulting discussions and final standards are published in a series of publications, each called a Request for Comments (RFC), freely available on the IETF web site. The principal methods of networking that enable the Internet are contained in specially designated RFCs that constitute the Internet Standards. Other less rigorous documents are simply informative, experimental, or historical, or document the best current practices (BCP) when implementing Internet technologies.

The Internet Standards describe a framework known as the Internet Protocol Suite. This is a model architecture that divides methods into a layered system of protocols (RFC 1122, RFC 1123). The layers correspond to the environment or scope in which their services operate. At the top is the Application Layer, the space for the application-specific networking methods used in software applications, e.g., a web browser program. Below this top layer, the Transport Layer connects applications on different hosts via the network (e.g., client–server model) with appropriate data exchange methods. Underlying these layers are the core networking technologies, consisting of two layers. The Internet Layer enables computers to identify and locate each other via Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and allows them to connect to one-another via intermediate (transit) networks. Lastly, at the bottom of the architecture, is a software layer, the Link Layer, that provides connectivity between hosts on the same local network link, such as a local area network (LAN) or a dial-up connection. The model, also known as TCP/IP, is designed to be independent of the underlying hardware which the model therefore does not concern itself with in any detail. Other models have been developed, such as the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, but they are not compatible in the details of description, nor implementation, but many similarities exist and the TCP/IP protocols are usually included in the discussion of OSI networking.

The most prominent component of the Internet model is the Internet Protocol (IP) which provides addressing systems (IP addresses) for computers on the Internet. IP enables internetworking and essentially establishes the Internet itself. IP Version 4 (IPv4) is the initial version used on the first generation of the today's Internet and is still in dominant use. It was designed to address up to ~4.3 billion (109) Internet hosts. However, the explosive growth of the Internet has led to IPv4 address exhaustion which is estimated to enter its final stage in approximately 2011. A new protocol version, IPv6, was developed in the mid 1990s which provides vastly larger addressing capabilities and more efficient routing of Internet traffic. IPv6 is currently in commercial deployment phase around the world and Internet address registries (RIRs) have begun to urge all resource managers to plan rapid adoption and conversion.
IPv6 is not interoperable with IPv4. It essentially establishes a "parallel" version of the Internet not directly accessible with IPv4 software. This means software upgrades or translator facilities are necessary for every networking device that needs to communicate on the IPv6 Internet. Most modern computer operating systems are already converted to operate with both versions of the Internet Protocol. Network infrastructures, however, are still lagging in this development. Aside from the complex physical connections that make up its infrastructure, the Internet is facilitated by bi- or multi-lateral commercial contracts (e.g., peering agreements), and by technical specifications or protocols that describe how to exchange data over the network. Indeed, the Internet is defined by its interconnections and routing policies.
Structure

The Internet structure and its usage characteristics have been studied extensively. It has been determined that both the Internet IP routing structure and hypertext links of the World Wide Web are examples of scale-free networks. Similar to the way the commercial Internet providers connect via Internet exchange points, research networks tend to interconnect into large subnetworks such as GEANT, GLORIAD, Internet2 (successor of the Abilene Network), and the UK's national research and education network JANET. These in turn are built around smaller networks (see also the list of academic computer network organizations).

Many computer scientists describe the Internet as a "prime example of a large-scale, highly engineered, yet highly complex system". The Internet is extremely heterogeneous; for instance, data transfer rates and physical characteristics of connections vary widely. The Internet exhibits "emergent phenomena" that depend on its large-scale organization. For example, data transfer rates exhibit temporal self-similarity. The principles of the routing and addressing methods for traffic in the Internet reach back to their origins the 1960s when the eventual scale and popularity of the network could not be anticipated. Thus, the possibility of developing alternative structures is investigated.