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Clive Owen to play Bill Clinton in ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’



Clive Owen on Bill Clinton

Los Angeles, Nov 16 : Oscar-nominated actor Clive Owen will star as Bill Clinton in “Impeachment: American Crime Story”, the third season of the network FXs award-winning limited series franchise, which centers on the sex scandal that rocked the Clinton presidency.

Owen joins Sarah Paulson, who will play Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein, who will play Monica Lewinsky, and Annaleigh Ashford, who will play Paula Jones in the limited series, reports

The role of Hillary Clinton is currently being cast.

“Impeachment…” is written by Sarah Burgess who executive produces alongside returning ACS team Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall and Paulson. Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan are also producing.

The limited series is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s bestselling book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President”. Toobin’s 1997 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson served as the source material for Season 1 of American Crime Story.

Filming on “Impeachment” is set to begin in late March. The limited series is currently slated to premiere on Sunday, September 27, 2020, about a month out from the next US Presidential election, but Murphy recently indicated the date may be in flux as the filming schedule has changed.

Owen’s casting comes in the midst of the impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump. Despite the confluence of events, the current impeachment proceedings are not influencing “Impeachment: ACS”, which chronicles events from two decades ago.

Owen received an Oscar nomination for “Closer” and was most recently seen in “Gemini Man”. On TV, he headlined “The Knick” and will also star opposite Julianne Moore in the limited series “Lisey’s Story”.

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Abe’s visit and importance of Act East Forum




Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

India-Japan relations have grown into a close strategic partnership in the past decade. Regular annual summits between their leaders have helped nurture the relations and made them among the fast-growing ties for each country. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India from December 15 to 17 will be his sixth bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further consolidate the bilateral relationship.

The summit will take place in Guwahati this time, which will bring a focus on Japan’s development cooperation in the North-Eastern states. Japanese organisations are actively involved in a variety of projects in the North-East under the Act East Forum that was set up during Abe’s visit to India in 2017. The Act East Forum aimed to expand cooperation between Japan and India in the North-Eastern region. Japan is the only country that the Indian government has allowed to take up developmental projects in the sensitive North-Eastern region.

India-Japan summits have a wide agenda of bilateral and global issues. But during the discussions, the Japanese side is likely to inquire about the implications of the Maharashtra government’s recent decision to review the bullet train project. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, or bullet train project is among the most prestigious Japan-India projects. A shadow was cast on the project when the new Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that his government would review the bullet train project. However, he clarified that his government had not taken a decision to cancel the project. The Maharashtra government is one of the three parties involved in the project and would find it difficult to cancel the project. But the project is likely to be in the doldrums if it loses its priority as a Maharashtra government project.

India and Japan held the first Two plus Two meeting of their foreign and defence ministers, when they reviewed the progress in the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which is in the final stages of negotiations. The logistics agreement is similar to those signed with the United States and France and would provide access to each other’s naval facilities. Defence and security cooperation has expanded steadily and India and Japan hold a series of defence exercises involving all three wings of the armed forces. The two sides have recently agreed to hold a joint exercise of fighter jets from Japan’s Air Self-Defence Force and the Indian Air Force next year.

The Act East Forum brought together various agencies on both sides to identify specific projects for development in the North-Eastern states. The cooperation between Japan and the North-Eastern states ranges from key infrastructure projects such as road connectivity, bridges, electricity, water supply and sewage, to social and environmental sustainability such as afforestation and community empowerment, as well as people-to-people exchanges, including inviting youth from the North-East to Japan. It has taken up construction of roads and highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram, a biodiversity conservation and forest project in Sikkim, other forest management projects in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Japan supported the construction of the Imphal Peace Museum, which was inaugurated in June this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal during World War ll at Maibam Lokpa Ching, also known as Red Hills. It was constructed with the support of the Nippon Foundation in collaboration with the Manipur government and the Manipur Tourism Forum. The museum displays exhibits from the war as well as lists the casualties in the battle including the names of the local people of Manipur who joined the Indian National Army (INA) forces. It also has a section on the arts and culture of Manipur.

The Imphal Peace Museum is located 20 km south-west of Imphal at the base of the Red Hills, where the last battle between the British India Army and the Japanese army was fought during World War II. About 55,000 Japanese soldiers died in the India offensive of the Japanese army. Many of them died in the Imphal and Kohima battles, from March 8 to July 18, 1944 which are regarded among the fiercest battles of the Second World War. Prime Minister Abe is expected to visit the Peace Museum.

(Shubha Singh is a foreign policy and strategic affairs commentator. The views expressed are personal. She can be reached at [email protected])

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Oppn during UPA years and SC judgments must share responsibility for current economic mess

Government must recognise that fear and enterprise don’t go together. Keep the ED and the CBI at bay and ensure that income tax authorities act within the law. Enterprise alone can help fuel our economy. Otherwise the Ides of March are not far away.



kapil sibal

The machinations to form and topple governments may be a priority for grabbing and sustaining political supremacy. However, with the economy tumbling for six straight quarters and GDP growth at 4.5 per cent (July-September quarter), we are in trouble. Tax receipts in Q2 (April-October) at Rs 6.83 lakh crore, with an expenditure of Rs16.55 lakh crore are worrying.

The output of eight core industries in October contracted by 5.8 per cent compared to October 2018 with six of the eight sectors witnessing negative growth. Coal production fell by 17.6 per cent, crude output by 5.1 per cent, steel production by 1.6 per cent, natural gas by 5.7 per cent, cement by 7.7 per cent and electricity consumption by 12.4 per cent.

Various international agencies have cut down their GDP predictions for the current financial year by 1.5 per cent on an average. The RBI, too, on December 6 lowered the growth estimate to 5 per cent in 2019-20 from 6.1 per cent. What is required is not patience, as the finance minister persuades us to believe, but urgent prescriptions to address structural issues.

What are these issues? First, the wheels of economic growth are undergoing qualitative changes. Automation and artificial intelligence are replacing manpower. Consequently, Indian industry is bound to suffer. While the adoption of both AI and automation by domestic industry is inevitable, it will also lead to a substantial loss of jobs. In recent years, we have seen job losses in IT and other labour-intensive sectors, which have in the past fueled growth.

Second, it is imperative for our labour force to acquire skills to meet the needs of the fourth industrial revolution. To do that, we need to affect structural changes in our education system as children move from school to higher education.

Instead, the Ministry of Human Resource Development is more concerned with changing the way we look at our past than reflecting upon the needs of the future. One might resurrect the heroes of the past but what we need is to put in place an environment to discover and encourage our heroes of the future. Unless we create an ecosystem in which our graduating students acquire the skills to meet the demands of the economy, we will not get the appropriate labour force required by industry.

Third, the contribution of both the Opposition during the UPA years as well as judgments of the Supreme Court to the economic mess that we find ourselves in. The C&AG’s preposterous theory of presumptive loss in telecom latched on to by the then Opposition, resulted in a judgment cancelling telecom licences, which killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. Subsequent auctions of spectrum resulted in high bids. The revenue earnings of telecom operators were insufficient to discharge the debt to banks for loans taken to buy spectrum.

Little was left for investment in infrastructure for mobile telecom efficiency. The result is, today, the sector which was efficient and highly competitive is reeling with a debt of close to Rs 8 lakh crore. Soon, the telecom sector may see the emergence of a duopoly. The telecom sector would have thrived but for the legacy of unsustainable prescriptions forced upon it. Auction money was viewed as a source of revenue to enrich the treasury rather than ploughing it back into the sector for investments in infrastructure.

The story of another sector, coal, is even more depressing. The SC, in an allegedly historic judgment, set aside all coal allocations since the early ’90s. The government, upon such cancellations, assured the Court that coal production will see a new sunrise with the auction of coal mines. The result was the opposite. The auctioned coal mines had no takers and those who participated in the auction, preferred to have their securities encashed rather than pay the balance amount for the auctioned mines. Consequently, the import of coal has increased at an alarming pace, adding to cost since coal is the raw material for several industries.

Coal India has not been able to meet the increasing demands of our emerging economy. Coal is the life blood of every industry including power, steel, and cement. As a result of these auctions and the SC judgment, the power sector is in the doldrums. The NPAs of banks reaching more than Rs 10 lakh crore is partly the result of the mindless protests by the Opposition and the SC judgments.

Fourth, is the crisis in agriculture as we promise to double farmers’ income — a daunting task with agricultural growth at 2 per cent per annum. We need innovative policies in agriculture. Use of technology to increase productivity per acre, rational policies to reduce the mindless exploitation of groundwater and remunerative returns for the farmer are imperatives. The plight of indebted marginal farmers too must be addressed.

Crucial sectors of the economy that generate employment are in decline. Thirty million of the 100 million employed in the textile industry, our second largest employer, for a variety of reasons both domestic and global, have lost their jobs. Close to 3.5 lakh workers in the automobile industry have been laid off as auto sales have slumped to a two-decade low. With increasing incidents of lynching, the leather industry is facing challenges with local units closing down.

The cumulative effect of all the above coupled with the mindless decision of demonetisation followed by the implementation of a flawed GST made matters worse. These decisions paralysed the economy. The result: Economic growth is eluding us. Tax breaks for industry already flushed with cash will see no immediate outcomes. The key is to boost incomes of those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Finally, government must recognise that fear and enterprise don’t go together. Keep the ED and the CBI at bay and ensure that income tax authorities act within the law. Enterprise alone can help fuel our economy. Otherwise the Ides of March are not far away.

This article is originally published on on December 12, 2019 The Indian Express. The writer, a senior Congress leader, is a former Union minister.

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The end of growth?



The end of growth

Sveriges Riksbank Prize: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems’, focusing on jobs, immigrants, growth, climate change and trade. Here are exclusive excerpts from the book, published with permission from the publishers, Juggernaut.

Good Economics for Hard Times
By Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo
Published by: Juggernaut

Is growth over?

Two economic historians at Chicago’s Northwestern University are at the centre of this discussion.

Robert Gordon takes the view that the era of high growth is unlikely to come back. We have only met Gordon once. He gives the appearance of being quite reserved; his book, however, is anything but. On the other side is Joel Mokyr, whom we know much better, an enormously vivacious man, with twinkling eyes and a kind word for everybody; he writes with infectious energy consistent with his generally positive outlook on the future.

Gordon has gone out on a limb and predicted economic growth will average a meager 0.8 per cent per year over the next twenty-five years. “Everywhere I look,” he said during a debate with Mokyr, “I see things standing still. I see offices running desktop computers and software much as they did ten or fifteen years ago. I see retail stores
where we are checking out with bar code scanners the same way we did before; shelves are still stocked by humans, not by robots; we still have people slicing meat and cheese behind the counter.”

Today’s inventions, in his view, are simply not as radical as electricity and the internal combustion engine were. Gordon’s book is particularly daring. He gleefully takes on the set of future innovations futurologists predict and one by one explains why, in his opinion, none of them would be as transformational as the elevator or air conditioning, and why none would take us back to an era of fast growth.

Robots cannot fold laundry. Three dimensional (3D) printing won’t affect large-scale manufacturing. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are “nothingnew.” They have been around at least since 2004 and have done nothing for growth. And so on.

It is clear of course that nothing Gordon says precludes the possibility that something entirely unexpected, perhaps some hitherto unimagined combination of familiar ingredients, will prove to be ransformative. It is just his hunch that it won’t.

Mokyr, on the other hand, sees a bright future for economic growth, spurred by nations competing to be the leader in science and technology, and the resulting rapid spread of innovation worldwide. He sees the potential for progress in laser technology, medical science, genetic engineering, and 3D printing.

To Gordon’s claim that nothing much changed in fundamental ways in how we produced in the last few decades, he counters: “The tools we have today make anything that we had even in 1950 look like clumsy toys by comparison.”

But mostly, Mokyr thinks that the way the world economy has changed and globalized produces the right environment for innovations to bloom and change the world, in ways we cannot even begin to envision. He predicts one factor that will accelerate growth: we will be able to slow down the aging of the brain. Which of course would give us more time to have better ideas. Mokyr, engaging and creative as ever at seventy-two, is a good example for his thesis.

The fact that two brilliant minds come to such radically different conclusions about growth highlights what a vexing topic it has been. Of all the things economists have tried (and mostly failed) to predict, growth is one area where we have been particularly pathetic. To name just one example, in 1938, just as the US economy was going back into high-growth mode after the Great Depression, Alvin Hansen (who was not a nobody; he was the co-inventor of the ISLM model most students of economics will remember from their first macroeconomics class, and a professor at Harvard) coined the term secular stagnation to describe the state of the economy at the time.

His view was that the American economy would never grow again because all the ingredients of growth had already played out. Technological progress and population growth in particular were over, he thought.

Most of us today who grew up in the West grew up with fast growth or with parents used to fast growth. Robert Gordon reminds us of our longer history. It is the 150 years between 1820 and 1970 that wereexceptional, not the period of lower growth that followed. Sustained growth was virtually unknown until the 1820s in the West.

Over the period 1500 to 1820, annual GDP per capita in the West went from $780 to $1,240 (in constant dollars), a paltry annual growth rate of 0.14 percent. Between 1820 and 1900, growth was 1.24 percent, nine times more than in the previous three hundred years, but still much less than the 2 percent it would hit after 1900. If Gordon is right and we end up with a 0.8 percent growth rate, we would simply be returning to the average growth rate over the very long run (1700-2012). This is not the new normal; it is just normal.

Of course, the fact that sustained growth over a long time, the kind we saw over most of the twentieth century, was unprecedented, does not mean it could not happen again. The world is richer and better educated than ever before, the incentives for innovation are at an all-time high, and the list of countries that could lead a new innovation boom is expanding.

It could well be the case, as some technology enthusiasts believe, that growth explodes again in the next few years, fueled by a fourth industrial revolution, perhaps powered by intelligent machines capable of teaching themselves to write better legal briefs and make better jokes than humans. But it could also be, as Gordon believes, that electricity and the combustion engine brought about a onetime shift in how much we can produce and consume.

It took us some time to reach this new plateau and there was fast growth along the way, but we have no particular reason to expect this episode will repeat itself. Nor, we might add, do we have definitive proof it won’t. Mostly, what is clear is that we don’t know and have no way to find out other than by waiting.

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