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[LINK] “Putin’s Free-Trade Bloc Frays as Ex-Soviet Satellites Spar”

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Bloomberg’s Nariman Gizitdinov and Anthony Halpin note that ongoing currency wars in the Eurasian Economic Union, specifically between Russia and Kazakhstan, promise to undermine the already shaken basis for post-Soviet integration.

Kazakhstan sent its currency lower last week after businesses complained that Russian companies had flooded domestic markets with cheaper goods. In Belarus, the Eurasian Economic Union’s last founding member, the nation’s trade deficit with Russia widened by a quarter last year.

Putin’s vision for his ex-Soviet trading bloc, already curtailed by the war in Ukraine, is suffering widening divisions among members as oil prices and sanctions weaken the ruble and shrink Russia’s economy. Already wary of Russia’s dominant role, the reaction to some of its companies’ actions risks damaging the union’s goal of closer integration.

“Because of the creation of a united economic zone, Kazakhstan and Russia, especially metals producers, entered into a trade war,” Vladimir Kim, majority shareholder of London-listed KAZ Minerals, said as entrepreneurs met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev after Thursday’s devaluation.

The ruble is the past year’s worst performer against the dollar, sinking 49 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Belarus’s ruble has tumbled more than a third, losing 4.9 percent on Monday alone, while the currencies of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, the Eurasian Economic Union’s two newest members, have lost 15 percent and 16 percent.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Antipope’s Charlie Stross and Whatever’s John Scalzi react to the Sad Puppies’ shut-out at the Hugos.
  • blogTO notes a poll suggesting that 85% of Torontonians think taxis are safer than Uber.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the potential role comet impacts may have had on the development of life.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin engages with Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers ways to detect life on worlds inhabited by extremophiles and examines the impact of ultraviolet radiation on hypothetical Earth-like exoplanets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales is upset that the United States suggested Ukraine should not immediately respond to the intrusion of Little Green Men.
  • Far Outliers notes the extreme casualty projections for an invasion of Japan in the Second World War.
  • Language Hat notes the controversy over the question of who the Indo-Europeans were.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the life of a Brazilian leader of a famous naval rebellion.
  • Marginal Revolution tries to start a debate on what the United States would look like if it had open borders.
  • The Planetary Society Blog features a report by Marc Rayman noting the ongoing mapping of Ceres.
  • Savage Minds carries an interview with anthropologist Christian Zloniski regarding export agriculture in Baja California.
  • Torontoist describes the controversial visit of a Toronto journalist to the Soviet Union in 1932.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Crimea is removing Ukrainian from its education system and wonders if Belarus is moving away from Russia.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • James Bow reflects on Mulcair’s decision to ignore the debates boycotted by Harper, and examines the decline of the Bloc Québécois.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly reflects on the social forces pressuring people, especially women, to smile.
  • Centauri Dreams reflects n the pessimism over the potential of interstellar expansion in Kim Stanley Robinson’s new Aurora.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a study examining the links between concentrations of elements in stars and their exoplanets, shares art of HD 219134b, wonders about distributions of brown dwarfs in nearby interstellar space, wonders if a lithium-rich giant star known as HD 107028 swallowed its planets, and imagines compact exoplanets made of dark matter.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares a study of the growth of the state of Tiahuanaco, and imagines what a durable Russian-American relationship could have been.
  • A Fistful of Euros looks at dodgy Greek statistics.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the new New Order single, “Restless.”
  • Language Hat celebrated its thirteen anniversary and looked at the ephemeral St. Petersburg English Review of the 19th century.
  • Language Log examines the origins of modern China’s standard language, and looks at the reasons why French texts are longer than English ones.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines settler violence in Israel.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at how charity, in an age of global income disparities, is inexpensive, and notes the economic issues of Cambodia.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on Cilla Black.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at Ossetian demographics and examines the growth of Kazakhs in Kazakhstan after 1991.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle likes the Cosmonaut Volkov heirloom tomatoes.
  • Towleroad reports on a push for marriage equality on the Navajo reservation.
  • Understanding Society examines the concept of microfoundations.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Russia’s war in Ukraine has been underachieving, argues Ukrainians should not count on change in Russia, reports on a Russian writer who wants the Donbas to be separated from Ukraine as a buffer, looks at ethnic Russian identity and propensity to emigrate in Kazakhstan, and looks at the identity of Belarusians in Siberia.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Claus Vistesen of Alpha Sources notes that though the stock market might be peaking, we don’t know when.
  • blogTO warns that Toronto might consider a bid for the 2024 Olympics.
  • James Bow thinks about Ex Machina.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks forward to her impending visit to Maine.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay by Michael A.G. Michaud looking at modern SETI.
  • Crooked Timber finds that even the style of the New York intellectuals of the mid-20th century is lacking.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that a search for superjovians around two nearby brown dwarfs has failed.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the flowing nitrogen ice of Pluto.
  • Geocurrents compares Chile’s Aysén region to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the new Janet Jackson single, “No Sleeep”.
  • Language Log looks at misleading similarities between Chinese and Japanese words as written.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that the low-wage southern economy dates back to slavery.
  • Marginal Revolution is critical of rent control in Stockholm and observes the negative long-term consequences of serfdom in the former Russian Empire.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Jamaica is tearing down illegal electrical connections.
  • Savage Minds considers death in the era of Facebook.
  • Towleroad looks at how the Taipei city government is petitioning the Taiwanese high court to institute same-sex marriage.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues restrictive zoning hurts the poor.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at how Tatarstan bargains with Moscow, looks at Crimean deprivation and quiet resistance, considers Kazakh immigration to Kazakhstan, and argues Russian nationalist radicals might undermine Russia itself.

[BLOG} Some social science links

  • The Cranky Sociologists consider a series of controversial videos examining issues of racism and discrimination in Auckland.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram argues that European countries are responsible for migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the international market in surrogate mothers.
  • The Frailest Thing considers desire in the world of things, and examines the connections between machine work and the value of people.
  • Kieran Healy notes the often wild guesses made by Americans at the population size of the United States.
  • Language Hat notes the dislike of Russian aristocrats for the Russian language, and maps London’s different languages.
  • Language Log takes issue with a map of the languages of the world in regards to China, and looks at Cantonese usage in Hong Kong.
  • Languages of the World considers Google Translate.
  • Marginal Revolution examines China’s ideological spectrum and notes a New Zealand database that can predict outcomes for young people.
  • The New APPS Blog argues in favour of citing unpublished papers and praises the bravery of migrants.
  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of refugees in the Ukrainian government-controlled Donbas.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at recent fertility increases in post-graduate American women.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examined the changing nature of migration to and from Russia, looks at the demographic experiences over Belarus, considers the Russian HIV epidemic, and examines the link between fertility and economic shocks in the United States.
  • Savage Minds examines a new book on the Bougainville conflict, looks at racism in Baltimore, and reacts to the earthquake in Nepal.
  • Towleroad and the Volokh Conspiracy note that, properly analyzed, the data of Regnerus actually contradicts his claims about same-sex parents.
  • Zero Geography looks at the hidden biases of geodata.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares some wacky and unusual maps of the Toronto subway system.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes her reason why she did not want to have children.
  • Gerry Canavan has another post of links.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Earth-like planets with circumbinary orbits and considers a new model of gas giant formation that explains Jupiter.
  • Crooked Timber examines the ongoing controversy over the Hugo awards for science fiction, as captured by American right-wing authors.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the habitability of water worlds.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the delay of China’s Mars exploration program.
  • Far Outliers looks at different systems for representing vowels with consonant symbols in the languages of the Pacific Islands.
  • Geocurrents has some posts–1, 2, 3–looking at ways in which the state system does not reflect the reality of the Middle East.
  • Language Hat looks at the revival of Manx.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the United States’ Endangered Species Act is important for saving not just individual species but entire ecosystems.
  • Marginal Revolution tells readers how to find good Iranian food.
  • Steve Munro is dubious about the economics of the Union-Pearson Express.
  • pollotenchegg looks at changing industrial production in Ukraine in 2013, finding that the east was doing poorly.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the military situation in eastern Ukraine.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares beautiful pictures of Bermuda.
  • Peter Rukavina continues mapping airplanes flying above Prince Edward Island.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog reports on the results of the famine in 1930s Ukraine.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that the Belarusian language is still endangered, quotes a Putin confidant on eastern Ukraine’s separation, looks at the impact of the Internet on Karelia, and looks at ethnogenesis as two small nations of the North Caucasus merge.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, blogTO offers a guide to Irish Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the existence of chaotically-orbiting Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that the Yucatán peninsula was hit by a tsunami a millennium ago.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an anti-gay American who claims that Obama orchestrated the Ukrainian crisis at the behest of gays who wanted to punish Russia.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the interest of Chinese in California real estate.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on Prince Edward Island’s latest snowfall.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the prospects for subways in Scarborough.
  • Torontoist notes that Build Toronto has failed to provide affordable housing on nearly the scale promised.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the dismissal of a civil case brought by a man who had sex with a minor he met through Grindr brought against Grindr.
  • Window on Eurasia observes a Russian nationalist’s call to partition Belarus, suggests that Russia has been trying to split Ukraine for a while, and wonders if the families of Russian gastarbeitar from Central Asia could fall into support for Islamist terrorism.
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