Thursday, September 30, 2010

European plot reveals al Qaeda adapting

Kevin Kittilsen

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/29/analysis.al.qaeda/index.html


Al Qaeda has been struggling to produce another attack of the same magnitude as the attack on the world trade centers in 2001. Security officials believe that the Mumbai attacks in 2008 may serve as a example for future attacks. It is now becoming harder for them to use explosives due to suspicious. They believe that Al Qaeda may target areas with weaker economies due to it being easier to pull off. They also say how Bin Laden in still a key guy in the operations but is not as important in plotting out attacks. Al Qaeda had also confessed to plotting to carry out suicide bombings on the New York subway system earlier this year. The overall concept of this article was that even though Al Qaeda may be small that they still have the ability to launch deadly attacks.

China Reportedly Releases 3 Japanese

Chinese authorities released three of the four Japanese citizens who were accused last week of videotaping at a military installation in northern China. Even though one man still remains in custody, it is believed the other three men were released to reduce tension between the two nations. The three men reportedly admitted to violating the Chinese law and "showed regret for their mistake." It is said that the fourth man, Sada Maehara, will remain under "house arrest" while the investigation continues. The four men, who were arrested September 23, were held at a military installation in Shijiazhuang, a city in Hebei Province, not far from Beijing. Officials at Fujita, the construction company the four men work for, said that the men were inspecting a potential construction site at the time of their arrest. On Thursday, Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, told Parliament, "Territorial problems don't exist between Japan and China." Chinese shipments of rare earths to Japan have yet to resume. The Chinese Commerce Ministry has denied that there is even an export ban on the minerals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/world/asia/01chinajapan.html?_r=1&ref=world


Submitted by Emily Collins

Ecuador declares emergency as police protest, president is attacked

CNN reported today that Ecuador's government is on the verge of collapse after police protests over cancellations of bonuses and promotions. The government has since declared a one-week state of emergency. Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, claims the protests are coup d'etat attempt against the government. Correa was out in the streets negotiating with police when he was attacked with tear gas, punched, and had his gas mask ripped off. He later denounced the attack on the air by calling it "cowardly". He also told the news from the hospital "I will leave here as president or they will have to take me out as a corpse". Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that the United States fully supports Correa and democracy in Ecuador. She urged the people of Ecuador to work together to rapidly restore peace. At present time, Correa says he will not negotiate with police until they end their protest.

--Emily Goodfellow.

Germany Makes its Final WWI Payment !

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,720156,00.html

91 years after the Treaty of Versailles, Germany makes its final reparations payment.

Do you think that because of the way Hitler used the treaty as a tool, it made his campaign that much more successful ? Or was Germany already standing on its last leg ?

RG

Fearing holy site unrest, India bans bulk texting

Because of the ongoing 60 year case of the holy site in the town of Ayodhya, India is banning bulk text messages that could lead or egg on sides to perform acts of outbreak or violence. Emotions are running high, and the texting could induce "hurt feelings" to say the least. The holy site was originally Muslim territory, but now is up in the air as Hindus are claiming their right for the spot, as they were the first to raise the Babri Mosque in 1992. The judgment of the case is still explosive, as the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked for peace in the newpapers.

Amanda Marolf

Pakistan blocks NATO trucks after deadly strike

Pakistan blocked NATO and the United States supply routes in retaliation after NATO chased suspected insurgents from Afghanistan into the Pakistan border killing three Pakistani frontier troops. Pakistan's government has been protesting the attacks made by NATO and many U.S. drone missile strikes increased in the past month. Sources from the U.S. government say that Pakistani security forces do little to stop militants crossing into Afghanistan to attack foreign troops. "The surge in attacks and apparent increased willingness by NATO to strike targets on the border or just inside Pakistan, could be a sign the coalition is losing patience with Pakistan, which has long been accused of harboring militants in its lawless tribal regions." The Pakistan government said that the decision to block NATO vehicles was for security reasons, fearing that the vehicles might be attacked by angry tribesmen. Pakistani supply routes are the cheapest and most convenient to transport NATO and U.S. non-lethal supplies to troops in Afghanistan.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39432761/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia

Posted by Christine Steinbeiss

N. Korea releases photo of Kim's likely heir

North Korea released a photo of Kim Jong Il's youngest son, Kim Jong Un who is the future heir of the communist state. The photo of Workers' Party officials was published in the country's Rodong Sinmun newspaper. An accompanying article listed the names the officials in the photo, including Kim Jong Un. Speculation has been that Kim Jong Un would be the new ruler after his father suffered a stroke in August 2008. His father's deterioration in health left the state concerned about who will become the new leader if he passes suddenly.The future heir, and youngest son was made a four-star general in North Korea on Tuesday and was made second in command to his father. "It is another step toward a new power structure which will consist of Kim Jong Un, a young and inexperienced dictator, and two people — his aunt and her husband — who will be making all real political decisions while mentoring the young leader," said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University. Kim Jong Un is believed to be only 27 and has no political or military experience.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39413720/ns/world_news-asiapacific

Posted by Christine Steinbeiss

France's Warning for Deportation

The European Commission gave France a warning just this past Wednesday for the Roma, also known as gypsies, deportation. They deported over 8,000 indivudals that were part of this ethnic group. They are a large impoverished group that has been discriminated against throughout their history. France got the warning because they were not following the rule of free movement set by the EU. However, they claimed their raid was not intentionally aimed toward anyone. France officials said that the raids that were done were "part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration," not to deport individuals based on their ethnic group. Individuals in the European Commission feel embarassed for France's actions because it made Europe look prejudice. This large deportation was even compared to the mass deporation of Jews during World War II. Europe never wants to see these high of numbers again, nor do they want one of their countries to be seen as a place where freedom and acceptance is not understood and ignored.

Supply Routes Shut Down By Pakistan

Following attacks on Pakistans border posts, pakistan confirmed that three soilders have been killed. Three others were wounded, two helicopters launched missles at the post thinking they were insurgents. In response to such actions Pakistan shut down a supply route going through Pakistan that is used by the U.N. This however proves ineffective to there operation because they can find different routes of infiltration.

By: Dan Vogrin

Government bailouts no longer an American idea

The economic crisis has left few nations untouched by its effects, as evident in Europe with the most recent proposed bailout of the Irish banking system. Officials announced on Thursday that more than EUR12 billion into the banks to keep them from failing. This announcement came much to the chagrin of taxpayers, as officials had previously stated it would take more than EUR45 billion to fix the economy of Ireland. Although announcing an additional bailout, the honesty of the government in crying for help has served to benefit, as government bonds rose and losses on the European stock market were minimal. The total sum of EUR45 billion would mean an investment of nearly EUR10,000 for every man, woman, and child in Ireland, and would require the assistance of the EU and IMF to be effective. As a result of the economic downturn, property values have declined between 35-50% since 2007.

-Caleb Ray

Ugandan fury over UN report into Congo 'war crimes'

A leaked draft UN report, to be released on Friday, alleges that the Ugandan army committed war crimes including massacres of civilians, torture, and the destruction of infrastructure, when it backed Congolese rebels who overthrew the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1993 and 2003. Outraged, the Ugandan foreign minister condemned the report as "deeply flawed."He claims that the authors of the report based their assertions on claims laking proof without first consulting Uganda. As such, Uganda asserts that the report can threatened its commitment to peacekeeping missions such as the one in Somalia where troops from Uganda and Burundi are working to keep the UN backed government in power. Rwanda, who the report suggested committed genocide in DR Congo only retracted a threat to withdraw its troops from Darfur after a visit from the UN Secretary General.
by Szymon Kesek

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Water Insecuriity

Reported by BBC News, research on fresh water availability and quality shows that there is a problem. The article advised that developing countries, despite concerns of cost, invest in methods other than dams. While the current infrastructures work for some, it is environmentally damaging and not economically possible for some areas nor cost-effective. Agricultural pollution is one of the major threats to clean water where large agriculture exists without regulations on chemical herbicides and pesticides. The article also presents some possible alternatives.

Spain Arrests American Al-Qaeda Suspect

Spanish police have arrested an American man of Algerian descent suspected of funding Al-Qaeda's North African affiliates. The man was arrested outside of Barcelona Tuesday, and s suspected of laundering amounts of over $80,000 to an associate in Algeria, who then sent the money to Al-Qaeda cells in the area. It is reported the arrest is unrelated to the terror threats in France and the UK this weekend, and the incident is pure coincidence. More on the article here.

-Trevor Magnotti

Russia Presents Vision for Arctic Wealth

Just 3 years after the Russians unofficially stuck their flag in a seabed just below the North Pole staking their claim on that arctic region, they are once again bringing up the subject of their territorial claims. CNN' Hillary Whiteman writes in her article, Russia Presents Vision for Arctic Wealth, of the pressure Russia is placing on the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea to recognize their claims their claims to the arctic land. Sources have found that there is more than twice the amount of natural untapped oil as well as more than 3 times the amount of undiscovered gas as oil in the region. Russia has been trying to push their argument to stake their claims by mentioning the use of such resources. However, in order for Russia to gain their desired territorial rights in the arctic for whatever reason, they must consider the other seven states that have land in the arctic( Canada, Norway, United States, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Finland) who will most likely oppose their claims if it interferes with their territory. From this point, it looks like another battle over resources which Charlie Kronick, senior climate advisor says, "is crazy at the moment and the first thing we need to do is to reduce demand. However big the notional oil and gas reserves are up in the Arctic, we have already got more oil and gas than we can afford to burn if we don't want to cook the climate."
Posted by vanity sotelo

Strikes and Riots grip Europe

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11432579

This is BIG, people. The European economies are suffering and I think its FASCINATING how European citizens hold strikes and riots in protest of things like raising the minimum retirement age. This has been in the states as well, however, why do you think that we do not strike and riot here in the US like they do in Europe?

RG

New Developments in European Terror Action

The European Union has thwarted a plot by Islamic terrorist groups to bomb and attack areas in Germany, England and France. The article states that the threat developed in an area on the border of Pakistan. Also a suspected American terrorist was arrested in Spain from Algeria who was apparently funding Al-Qaida operations in North Africa. The fact that the European Union was making strides on controlling and containing Islamic terrorist groups goes along with the article, "Clash of Civilizations" which states that Western ideals and Islamic movements are going to have difficult time getting along and predicts unfriendly relations between the two different cultures. It is also interesting that Spain arrested a US citizen suspected of terrorism. How do we treat these people who are basically traitors that move across oceans to help fund and progress the functions of Islamic middle eastern terrorist groups. Europe has dealt with the most harsh terrorist attacks over the past 5 years as London experienced a bus bombing which also blew up a few cars and of course the train attacks on Madrid killing over 191 people.

CIA steps up drone attacks in Pakistan amid fear of al-Qaeda terror in Europe

The US launched more attacks with unmanned drones against al-Qaeda.  They are trying to stop terrorist attacks that they think will happen in Europe.  The US is stepping up its use of unmanned drones to hunt down and attack areas where they think high ranking leaders are with precise accuracy.  This is the 21 drone attack this month which shatters the last monthly record of 12 last year.  The US is showing its power and use of technology proving that we can fight a war with out even having forces around to fight.  I think the use of drones to fight is one of the best things we can do to show our power in a war al-Qaeda forces will see that we can keep attacking them at anytime without having solders around for them to even be able to fight back and that we have constant watch on them.  In recent weeks we have killed numerous high ranking officials hopefully that trend continues. 
Ed Barry
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/28/AR2010092806841.html?hpid%3Dtopnews

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walking on the Wildside ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11429959

Posted above is a link from BBC titled: Israeli FM Lieberman's UN speech 'not cleared with PM'. Obviously this cannot be good. Apparently the speech did not reflect Israel's position. 


Was this a blip or intentional ?


RG

North Korean leader's son apparently promoted to general

Kim Jong Il, the ailing leader of North Korea has promoted his son, Kim Jong Un to a military general. It is widely accepted that Kim Jong Un, the youngest of Kim Jong Il's children, will be the successor of his father to run North Korea. It is rumored to be the first public mention of Kim Jong Un by the North Korean media and it sets the stage that he will, in fact, succeed his father when he passes away. This is important news to the United States as well as other countries around the world because this promotion sets the stage for Kim Jong Un to become the next leader of North Korea. This is definitely a story to keep following in the weeks and months to come especially with the current leader's declining health. Surely the United States will try to find more information about Kim Jong Un to learn of the path that North Korea will head if and when he succeeds his father as leader of North Korea.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/09/27/north.korea.promotion/index.html?hpt=Sbin

Germany's Apple Front takes on extremism

Apple Front, a provocative group that uses satire to challenge far-right extremists in Germany is taking a different approach to getting it's point across. They dress all in black, wearing red armbands and banners with an apple on it and members chant, "What gives power to the youth? Apple juice! Apple juice!"The mock-extremist group has offended people who have mistaken it as being part of the Nazi community. Being that they look so much like them! They say they do it for the shock value, well it is definitely working. The group resembles a political theater group more than anything else and demonstrates alongside radicals and neo-Nazis at marches and rallies across Germany to make fun of the radicals. They say it's a creative way to get people's attention, I think it's just plain offensive.

By Alicia Panczyk

Child Trafficking in China

According to this BBC News article, a court in China has sent two men to death for kidnapping and trafficking more than 40 Chinese baby boys. The two men were apart of a gang that would steal baby boys from their parents in the poor provinces in the south-western part of the country. They would then sell the babies for thousands of dollars to villagers in the eastern province of Fujian.
The men received upward of $6,000 per child and were found guilty of stealing 46 babies total, two of which died from illness. Authorities have rescued the remaining infants but none have been returned to their families, which police cannot find. Because there is a preference for males in China, child trafficking has increased over the years.

Submitted by: Jaime Hacker

Monday, September 27, 2010

Egypt's Pope Apologises to Muslims

Pope Shenouda III of Egypt, leader of the Coptic Christian church in Egypt, apologised to the Muslims of Egypt on state television for comments made by a Bishop about verses inserted into the Koran after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, according to BBC. Egypt's al-Azhar Islamic authority stated that these comments threatened national unity. Bishop Bishoy, the Coptic Christian second highest leader in Egypt, was questioning verses in the Koran that dispute the divinity of Christ, saying that they had been added later by one of the Prophet's successors. This is unacceptable to many Muslims, as they believe that the Koran is the word of God revealed through the arch-angel Gabriel, and that it cannot be changed. Pope Shenouda said that "Debating religious beliefs are a red line, a deep red line" in his interview on Sunday, and that escalation of the conflict was inappropriate. Tensions are rising in Egypt between Coptic Christians and Muslims after years of peace, as more churches are being built and reported conversions increase. Out of a country of 80 million people, Coptics only make up 10% of the population, posing no real threat to the majority.

By Margaret Nunne

Scarcity of Global Reserves Threatens Oil-rich Regions with Instability

There is only an estimated 40 years' oil supply left. Though the Middle East is the primary focus of oil-related conflict, other regions that supply oil will become increasingly important- the Caspian Sea, the Gulf of Guinea, and some of Latin America. Though conflict is unlikely at this point, tensions will probably arise between Russia, which influences Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and seeks control over the oil located in the Caspian Sea basin, and China as its demand for oil rapidly increases. African countries suffer a distinct "oil curse": people feel increasingly alienated from the benefits of the oil business after the oil business itself creates conflict between rival entities struggling to gain control; even when there is income from the oil, there are grave disputes over how governments should spend the money, which destroy governmental accountability. Though Latin America does not suffer from tensions over oil quite yet, foreign powers have yet to exert their influences. The chances of conflict there are minimal because there is little dispute over who controls what oil. The bottom line: this oil conflict is small now but will escalate as time goes by; current systems affected by oil rapidly approach their expiration dates and already begin to fester- now.

Rebecca M. Samson

NATO Helicopters Enter Pakistan and Kill 49

NATO helicopters entered Pakistan this weekend in pursuit of insurgents. NATO's involvement did not violate any international rules of engagement, specifically in this case of chasing insurgents over the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to Major Michael Johnson. Pakistan, however, does not feel the same way. Pakistan believes it was a "clear violation and breach" of the United Nations rules for forces. Pakistan claims there are no rules on pursuit of those from Afghanistan into Pakistan. The helicopters, from the U.S, were responding to an attack on a remote Afghan National Security Force outpost.

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

North Korean leader's son rises as likely successor

Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il, has just been named a military general.  This is the first time that Kim Jong-un has ever been mentioned by name by the media.  Experts say that Jong-un, who is in his 20s, is too young and inexperienced to take full control and that Kim Jong-il will remain in power.  KCNA, a state news agency, also said that Kim has given military rank to six others including Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's sister Kyong-hui, and Choe Ryong-hae, who is considered a loyal aide of Kim.

This announcement came just hours before a rare ruling party meeting to elect the next leader.  The Workers' Party conference is the biggest meeting of its kind in 30 years.  Regional powers are keeping a close eye on what occurs at this meeting.

Submitted by: DJ Willey

U.S.: Inverted Philippine Flag Was 'Honest Mistake'

On Sunday, in a meeting between President Barack Obama and President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine flag was displayed improperly and the United States government has since apologized saying that it was an honest mistake. The meeting was set to discuss and bolster the economic ties between the United States and the Philippine's and also discuss east Asian territorial concerns. A picture of the two presidents with the inverted flag appeared on the governments website with no caption or mention of the error. The inverted flag could be seen as a sign of disrespect or misunderstanding on the part of the United States and is a sad reality that even the United States government is not impervious to mistakes. Mistakes like this could lead to problems though. The United States wants to make more friends, but in order to do so in the anarchic international system, it is important that the U.S. respects other countries flags and traditions. There would be a large outcry if another country (in particular an uneasy ally of the United States) if the U.S. flag was improperly flown and taken as a disgrace, but it appears as that in this case things will be smoothed out quickly. Hopefully, nothing will bubble out of this mistake, but it is a mistake that cannot happen again for the sake of the United States and the world as a whole. Much like what we have discussed in class the past few weeks, the strong do what they will and the weak accept what they may. I mention this because the Philippine's accept the mistake whereas another power may not have done so. The Philippine's is not necessarily this weak, but rather smart enough to know that they do not want to come in to conflict with the United States. In the end, I hope to never hear of this again! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/27/us-inverted-philippine-fl_n_739834.html

By: Kyle Coia

One Child Policy to Remain

In Beijing the one child policy will remain in effect. Due to the proven decrease in births because of this policy, there have been about 400 million births not transpire. While this is helpful in their population problem, I think this over steps many ethical boundaries. Is China a state that needs the government to run every aspect of their life, including child birth? This upsets me because their are babies being aborted solely for the sake of this policy. While it helps to maintain the population, it is hindering individuals' from making their own decisions, that should be theirs to make. Also, this begs the question as to why there is such a population problem, as we do not see the same problem occurring in places such as Russia. While I do think there needs to be some solution to the population problem I find it hard to see the One Child Policy as being the best solution to the current problem China is facing.

By: Lindsay Weidling

Shell Upping Oil from Iran

In an article by The Guardian, it is reported that Shell has increased its amount of crude oil ordered from Iran, just as the US, UN, and EU increase trade sanctions on the country. While BP and Reliance Industries have stopped orders from the country, Shell continues to trade for oil, assuring that they will "continue to comply with the legislation." Iran is the world's fourth largest oil exporter, and it makes up 80% of the country's exports. Due to the sanctions, the market prices for Iranian oil have decreased, thus making it appealing for those who wish to trade with the country. The sanctions do not explicitly forbid the trade of crude oil with Iran, and Shell confirms that it is still abiding to the sanctions, the market prices, and "have no intention of trying to take advantage of the sanctions."

Posted by: Zach Porlier

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will Venezuelan President continue his toltalitarian trend?

The results for the Venezuelan parliamentary elections will be realeased within the next day or so and the stakes are high. This election is crucial as to whether the legislative power will shift in favor of the opposition or continue under Hugo Chavez, the current president. Chavez has held office for two 6-year terms, where his first gave him much credibility to the public as a "champion of poor communities," yet since his reelection, he has deviated from democracy toward "what he calls a socialist model for the 21st century." Voter turnout has been huge because the people are fed up and the opposition is finally a united voice.

Lacey Watson

Unnessary Cycle: China Receiving Foreign Aid as Their Economy Improves

China has the ability to show off their money and growing economy yet still receive billions of dollars in foreign aid. China claims they are still a developing nation but most of their borrowers feel their money should go to poorer countries. Their larger investors, Germany and Britain in Europe and Japan, are slowly diminishing their aid to China within the next few years. The US gives money but not as much as their other counterparts due to sanctions set in 1989.

China claims their need to foreign aid comes from being a developing country. Their economy is strong but their people's income is unequal. Most countries are finding hard to give to China due to their spending on the military and even giving money to African nations. When asked about cutting emissions and other projects, China still wants to use its crutch as a developing nation.

Amy Pacheco

World's largest offshore wind farm opens in UK

The largest wind farm in the world opened Thursday in Southern England. It is estimated to fuel electricity to 200,000 homes per year. This is important to this region because it can add 50 percent more energy to British homes and save on money. This location is perfect because the British waters provide powerful winds to generate the turbines. The European Offshore Wind Industry is also under construction on 16 more wind farms along the British shores. The owners goals are to create a wind farm that will become the worlds first 1 gigawatt and power over 3 million British homes.


Danny Hayes

Ahmadinejad's game plan is working

In the latest news on the most interesting man in the middle east, President Ahmadinejad's plan to become more well like in the Middle East is succeeding. Fareed Zakaria is an analyst for CNN, he says that Iran is really not that much of a power in the world, he says that it's a regional power. Zakaria states, "The reality about Iran is that it's a middle-rank power, a regional power, and if not for Ahmidenijad's outlandishness, it would not deserve as much attention as we're giving it." Zakaria was at an opening breakfast with the President, in years past he was not nearly as smooth, calm, and collected as he was this year. Even though he was having problems at home and in his country, he showed no sign of weakness. Zakaria adresses the statements that the President used to make to Israel. He used to act like he would attack but now he much more careful about what he says. Zakaria's ultimate concern and message is that Iran is not that much of a threat. The media and the U.S. government are making them sound a lot bigger and tougher than they really are.

By Nick Santos

Unemployment in Africa

In Newcastle, South Africa authorities were sent to shut down a factory because of the national enforcement against clothing factories that violate minimum wage. However the workers of the factory shout out in protest against the officials surprisingly. Indeed, the manager of the factory did pay her less than minimum wage, but that small amount that she did get was what kept her family afloat. Africa economy has been improving by following the examples in the west, but it has not improved fast enough. Therefore the unemployment rate has been the worst in the world. Moreover, the global economic crisis has made the whole situation in Africa worse still. Experts believe that the government is not helping as they said they would some 16 months after the latest president was elected. The high trading prices are one factor that contribute to the issue of joblessness. However some say that the root of the whole disaster stems from the racial oppression that happened years before. Blacks were forced into rural areas making them cut off from the economic world and the "engines of the economy". Africa is having a hard time competing with the low-waged workers of China. The products of their work as flooded the african market and left thousands unemployed. This crisis is a product of the theory of apartheid, which keeps blacks from integrating into the world of education and industry contributing to the problem of unemployment.

China Imposes a Steep Tariff on U.S. Poultry

A year ago President Obama imposed steep tariffs on tires from china. Two days following those tariffs the Chinese commerce ministry began an investigation into whether or not the United States was attempting to harm China's poultry industry by exporting chicken parts for a lower cost. As a result of these investigations China further imposed steep tarrifs of its own on U.S. poultry imports. The increase may reportedly reach 105.4%. These actions reflect that China is not affraid to flex its economic muscle. China as a whole poses as a large threat in the balance of powers and its economic power seems to be increasing. A similar situation is also going on between China and Japan, however, rather than chicken parts they are involved in rare earth minerals. Eswar S. Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell, said it best, “China’s rising assertiveness on the international economic stage reflects its growing economic might and the self-confidence of its leadership, but is tempered by the realization that it faces many challenges in terms of its own development." Needless to say, the more economic confidence that China gains, the more of a global power threat it mat pose.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/global/27yuan.html?ref=world

Andrew Gates

Pakistan minister quits after accusing army of killings

The Pakistani minister for defense production, Abdul Qayum Jatoi, resigned on Saturday after criticising the Pakistani military. Jatoi told journalists that the army was provided with funds to protect the country, not partake is political assassinations. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gilani, summoned Jatoi to explain his comments. Not long after, Jatoi resigned. When speaking at a news conference in the city of Quetta, Jatoi said, "We provided the army with uniforms and boots not so that they kill their own fellow countrymen, kill Nawab Sahib [Bugti] and Benazir Bhutto,". In past years, there has been speculation in the media concerning the Pakistani military moving against the civilian government.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11413511

Submitted by Emily Collins

Jewish boat sets sail to Gaza with aid

It's being reported that a Jewish boat has set sail and intends to land on the Palestinian controlled Gaza strip and deliver aid.  Ever since modern day Israel was created following World War II, there has been a constant, steady conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews.  One of the reasons there has been so much tension in the area is because Israel's Jerusalem serves as a center point for three of the worlds major religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism).  Fighting over who should have control of the city is just one of the many conflicts currently taking place.  This act of genorosity from the Jewish people serves as a reminder that their are still those who think peace is a possibility between these two groups of people.  Richard Kuper from the group Jews for Justice for Palestinians said "Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews", "We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and siege."  Who knows, maybe this effort could spark a potential peace effort from the Jews and Palestinians.  

By: Cameron Adams

Miner Rescue Mission in Chile

The "Phoenix Capsule" (a 924 poud cage) arrived in Copiano Chile this Saturday to "give a new life" to 33 trapped miners who have been held up since August 5th. Clapping upon the machine's arrival, family members are hopeful and anxious for the start of the rescue. The capsule is equipped with an oxygen supply, communication equipment, retractable wheels to help it travel up the rescue shaft and an escape hatch in case something goes wrong. The machine arrived a week ahead of time which could speed up the rescue date that was anticipated to be October 15th. Both a rescue expert and a skilled paramedic are planning on making the 15 minute 2,300 foot journey down the shaft to do a medical check of the miners and determine who should be extracted first. There are no plans to sedate any of the miners. "Compared to the 50 days the miners have so far spent down there, the 15 minute ride back will be like nothing." Once they are out the miners will be taken to a field hospital where they will be given antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and an eye check. They will then be reunited with family and flown to Copiano Regional Hospital where they will all stay for a minimum of two days. The most immediate risk they may face is damage to their retinas, when exposed to the sun for the first time in weeks. They will be monitored for months for post-traumatic stress.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americans/09/25/chile.miners/index.html

Submitted By: Erin Burneson

Poles killed in bus accident

A tour bus crashed into a car that was merging onto the highway near Berlin. It was carrying Poles returning to their home country from a one week vacation in Spain. The driver lost control as he swerved to avoid the car, hitting the railing on the bridge. There were 49 people on board the bus and at least 12 of them were recently pronounced dead. Several were badly injured, including the bus driver. Those who survived with minor injuries went into shock. They were seen walking around barefoot as many passengers had taken off their shoes to be more comfortable. Rescue helicopters took the most severely injured victims away while others were treated on the scene in tents set up by emergency services. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said, "This accident not only affects our Polish friends, but us as well. Our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with the friends and family of the victims in their dark hour."

written by Amy Mori

The New World Order

A New World Order is arising. Areas may no longer be designated by geography, but by factors such as race, ethnicity, and religion. For centuries, diplomacy was what determined national borders. However countries have now found other ways to categorize and specify what groups they belong with. Countries are now united by common alliances, not geography.

Joel Kotkin, a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University of Orange County, Clifornia, has researched and placed some of the more prominent countries into nineteen categories. By Kotkin's classifications, it is not necessary for countries to be on the same continent, but are united by common characteristics. By these determinations, it will be interesting to see how these kinds of arrangements will impact the world of international relations in years to come.

US Congress committee approves China sanctions bill

The United States has accused China of holding down the value of its currency in an effort to keep the price of its exports low. China keeping the strength of their currency low has made it the world's manufacturing hub and it wasn't seen as a big deal until the recession hit and America is faced with a 9.6% unemployment rate. The bill will be voted on in the House of Representatives on Wednesday and if it passes there it will be voted on by the Senate next week. According to some of the bill's supporters, a properly valued yuan could bring up to 500,000 jobs for Americans since the Chinese exports would become more expensive. These sanctions against China could set off an international trade war so it will be interesting to see how the House and Senate will vote on this bill especially with mid-term elections coming up in November.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11407254

Ethiopia Claims High Ground In Right-To-Nile Debate

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130050352

Ethiopia is seeking more access to water within Ethiopia that eventually flows into the Nile, causing concern to Egypt. Most people think of Egypt when they think of the Nile River, but many of the sources of the Nile river begin in other countries, and flow together to form the Nile that runs through Egypt. Any tampering with the headwaters of the Nile, such as in Ethiopia has consequences for the Egyptians down river.
Ethiopian Christians believe that the headwaters of the Blue Nile in their country are sacred and have healing powers. In addition, the Ethiopian government seeks to dam the Blue Nile for hydroelectric power and use more of the water for their own people, leaving less for the Egyptians.
Egypt claims that if Ethiopia could use its rainwater and groundwater more effectively it wouldn't need to use more of the Nile waters Egypt claims are theirs. Ethiopia retorts that if Egypt could use its Nile waters more effectively, the Egyptians wouldn't need to worry about the headwaters Ethiopia is using for its own development.
Currently Egypt claims rights to many of the Nile headwaters as part of a treaty organized by the British in the colonial era. Britain was partial to Egypt, a valued part of their empire, and did not consult the other territories such as Ethiopia in the creation of the treaty, something Ethiopia says voids the current arrangement Egypt stands by.

--Ray Treonis

Arctic mosque lands safely in Inuvik

This Friday, the world's most northern mosque opened in Inuvik, N.W.T. The Muslim citizens of Inuvik have been praying in a tiny one bedroom trailer for years and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new mosque. The pre-built mosque began the long trip on semi-trailer and faced a lot of hardship on the way to Inuvik. The mosque made it to the last barge heading to Inuvik and later was planted safely on Canadian soil. The Muslim community is hoping to use the mosque as a community center and hope for others to look at it as a symbol of tolerance and peace across Canada.

Pakistan PM cancels trips as govt speculation swirls

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani canceled his trip to Europe this month, the reason being the state of the country after the floods. President Asif Ali Zardari came was criticized heavily for going to Europe just when the disaster floods and their damage were happening. So to save money for recovery, the PM's scheduled visit to France is being postponed, and his visit to Brussels will be next month. Some view this as political, even though the press secretary insists that it's not. So far, the military has been the ones to take the lead in action over flood recovery; if the government fails to take better action, then the army will revolt.

Amanda Marolf

An Oasis in the Desert

In 2007 when the United Arab Emirates announced that they would be building the first "zero-carbon city" few Westerners put stock in the claim. However, this past week the first inhabitants of Masdar began to move in. Masdar is the creation of Foster & Partners and has been described as an eco-friendly Disneyland in the desert. The city rests on a 23-foot high base that captures desert breezes and can only be navigated through by the driverless electric car system that is hidden below the city. Although the architectural accomplishments of Masdar are like something out of a Sci-Fi movie many critics wonder what the social repercussions will be for this gated utopia.

by Haley Kirk

Irish terror threat rise worrying

this article was about how the IRA has been ramping up its operation in northern Ireland and is expected to attack Great Brittan soon. the British government is taking this threat seriously, they have raised their alert level to substantial. the reason that the IRA is supposed to be attacking Great Britain is because of the increased publicity an attack would get there. the director of MI-5 said that there had been a steady increase in the amount of violent attack by the IRA and other dissidents. the number of attacks has rose from 20 last year to thirty this years. this issue was brought to light by first minister Robinson, he says that they do not have enough money to tackle the growing threat.

http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11410707

More Issues in Iran

Iran has currently had an issue with worms that are infecting the computers that are used by engineers involved in their nuclear power facilities. This has been an issue for many of the countries located in this area. These other countries inclued Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. According to the article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/world/middleeast/26iran.html?_r=1&hp, this is not something that can be produced by independent hackers, but rather a state. This may create big issues if this hypothesis is correct and Iran eventually has to go to war with another power. There have been reports that over 30,ooo computers have already been infected by the bug.


Submitted by: Jeff Waszak

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chavez fights to keep control in legislative vote

Basically, with elections looming, Chavez is going around speaking for his allies to win the public's vote before the election. He's making promises of low-interests credit cards and cheap appliances to try and woo the voting public. Chavez's allies have been in control of legislation since the 2005 elections, but the opposition is making a strong bid to take that control away. Chavez's popularity has been slipping as voters become disillusioned with him because of the high crime rates, poor adminstration of public service, and a 30% inflation rate. While the opposition is a threat, obstacles have been put in their way. District lines had been changed giving greater weight to rural areas where most of Chavez's support is. However, urban areas have begun to lean towards the opposition over Chavez so his control over legislation could be at risk although Chavez claims that the opposition will be defeated.

To read the article in more detail go to:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100926/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_venezuela_elections

By: Sam Nielsen

Hillary Clinton's Controversial Hair Clip

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recently caused a stir at the United Nations General Assembly. She was in attendance to meet with other world leaders to discuss issues such as offering support to Pakistan and Haiti. The uproar did not come from something Clinton said or did in the meeting, but rather from what she was wearing. She arrived at the General Assembly on Monday looking unkempt and wearing a plastic butterfly clip in her hair. Fashion police immediately began the attack on Clinton, citing this clip as juvenile and inappropriate for such a meeting. It was argued that because she is a public figure, she should have presented herself professionally and appropriated in front of these important global leaders. On the other hand, supporters argued that Clinton has more important tasks to worry about than her hair. Also, it was claimed that this attack on her was sexist and unnecessary. Regardless of any opinions on the accessory, the unfortunate truth is that this fashion blunder took away from the overall message Clinton was trying to promote.

http://blogs.forbes.com/raquellaneri/2010/09/24/appearances-do-matter-hillary-clintons-hair-clip-controversy/

Meghan Steinbeiss

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chinese Boat Captain to Be Freed, Japan Says

"Japanese authorities said Friday that they would release the captain of a Chinese trawler who was arrested two weeks ago near islands claimed by China and Japan, defusing a dispute that had sent ties between the Asian powers to their lowest point in years." This just goes to show how the holding of this captian was somewhat unnecessary. The Japanese government (prosecutor) came out today and said that they were putting a stop too their investigation of the captain, Zhan Qixiong, who was taken into be held on September 8th. This all happened after his boat ran into a Japanese Coast Guard boat by the islands in East China Sea. This came from high regards and the Chineese government using its economic influence to get Mr. Zhan out of captivity. This is significant due to the fact that it shows the power that China has in its influence over Japan and the rest of the world. \

By: Chase Pavlick

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25chinajapan.html?_r=1&ref=world

IAEA: Israel Not Compelled to Join NPT

Israel "narrowly" avoided a diplomatic crisis today, with the IAEA failing to ratify an "Arab-backed resolution" that would have prodded Israel into joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). "At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) annual conference, 51 nations voted against the resolution, 46 for, while 23 abstained."

The timing of the resolution could not have been better for Israel. As Washington presses for progress in Mid-East peace talks, a confrontation over what is commonly termed 'the best known secret in international relations' would have likely prompted Israel's withdrawal from any formal discussions with the PA. The imminent cessation of peace talks would have also portended a resumption of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

Of course, most importantly, it would have deprived President Obama of an essential photograph in his Wikipedia entry. "The US had urged a vote against, saying it could undermine a conference on a nuclear-free Middle East in 2012."

Jacob Nelson

Mexican mayor slain in drug-plagued state

Drug cartels are killing off political figures in Mexico to gain control of drug trade routes and territories.  I think this poses a much higher threat to America as Mexico becomes more unregulated and in control of the cartels it opens the door to terrorists and anti American groups.  Cartels are taking over the government there by killing officials or just the threat of killing them or their families.  The use should be using more of its power to help out Mexico they have a higher threat to us due to their close proximity.  We are doing some work there but not enough there is no US military there only DEA and some other agencies.  The US could also help by legalizing marijuana and stopping the international drug trade.  Marijuana is their biggest cash crop if drug trade was hit due to domestic growth it would cripple the cartels. 
Ed Barry
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100924/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_drug_war_mexico

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Muslims Report Rising Discrimination at Work

Last month, JBS Swift, a meatpacking company, was sued on behalf of 160 Somali immigrants saying the workers had cursed and thrown meat and bones at them for being Muslim. "Terrorist" or "Osama" are just a few of the horrific names that are shouted from co-workers here in the U.S., towards Muslims in the work place. Recently, a record number of Muslim workers have been complaining that the employment discrimination has drastically gotten worse. Now it has been said that some employers have barred their fellow employees from wearing the sacred head scarves, or refusing to let them off for prayer breaks. The study has not yet revealed it's results, however, it has been said that according to the Islamic groups that the amount of complaints they have received in 2010 will for sure set another record.

Courtney Ecton

Sailors call for urgent global action to halt piracy

BBC News reported on September 23rd that more than 930,000 sailors signed a petition to put a stop to global piracy. The petition was sent in twelve boxes to the UN International Maritime Organization in London. It was also organized by unions, ship operators, and welfare organizations. Primarily the petition is aimed at the renowned pirates of Somalia who are currently holding 354 sailors hostage. The petition's strength in numbers reflects the anger of sailors around the world. The signers specifically want international governments to take steps to secure the safe release of the hostages. The Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia (an area of about 1.1 million square miles) are the focus areas of the petition. Government officials hope that the petition will help the public see the dangers sailors and seafarers face with piracy.

--Emily Goodfellow.

Walk-out at the UN?!

Oh dear, old Mahmoud's done it again... Less than an hour ago, CNN reported that US delegates to the UN, along with other delegates, staged a walkout during the Iranian president's speech. Although wild claims and statements that are so wacky, they cannot be lampooned usually flow from the spigot of lunacy, his statements about the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, are nothing short of downright offensive:

"Some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack..." [T]he attacks were aimed at reversing "the declining American economy and its scripts on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world, agree with this view."

Delegates from the United States, UK, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Uruguay and Spain walked out in response to these allegations. Barack Obama had long since left the grounds of the UN, and numerous European delegates had stated they intended to walkout for what was said. The US permanent mission stated, "[r]ather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories..."

The Iranian president ended his speech by discussing a statement issued to the IAEA regarding its nuclear program. It makes me wonder if Iran is truly a danger to the Western World, or if its "mouthpiece" just needs a new way to get his jollies.

-Caleb B. Ray

Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India

The Commonwealth Games, set to be hosted by India starting on the 3rd of October, have appeared in the news frequently as of late due to controversy and problems that have arose. According to Khaleej Times, there have not only been structural problems, but countries are advising athletes to delay their departure to the games amid concerns for their safety. Apart from several roof issues including one that partially collapsed, flooding from storms and athletic housing with urine and feces around it are raising worries. Another problem is stagnant water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, a carrier of dengue fever which has afflicted many local residents. Security is also a problem, with two shooting incidents related to the games since March.

I also found a timeline on the major points of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

France Trying to Free Hostages in Niger

This article is about the five French Nationals that were kidknapped in Niger and are being held hostage by a North African al'Qaeda group. The kidknapping just occurred last week, and in an audio tape, they even claimed they were responsible for this act. These five French hostages are nuclear experts who were working at the company called Areva. The company is filled with security but somehow the al'Qaeda group was able to get through security, kidnap the five French experts, and take an employee and his wife, bringing the total to seven hostages. It is even claimed that the Arab group is currently coming up with their demands in order to let these people go and that nobody should try to act out on anything since it could hurt the chances of the hostages freedom.

There is also another article claiming that the French are asking for US help. As of currently, the US is not claiming if they are or will not participate with France in trying to get back their nuclear experts. It is clear, however, that the al'Qaeda group in Africa are known for their harshness towards innocent people that they kidnap. Therefore, France needs to pay this al'qaeda group great respect because if they don't, they may never be able to let their people free.

Muslims Discriminated At Work

The Muslim community is upset to report that there has been an increase in complaints from Muslims on behalf of being discriminated at the work place. What is more troubling that the number of claims of discrimination are up 60 percent from 2005. Many of these complaints are unfortunate because the reasons for the complaints are very disturbing. Many Muslims have filed complaints because of the need they have to take prayer breaks or fasting during the work day. Other complaints are filed because of racial or unethical slurs being portrayed to Muslim workers. The threat of violence has been pointed at a few Muslim workers due to the 9/11 tragedy. These are all things that should never go on during the work place. Muslims have every right to practice their religion as anyone else does at work. Tensions in America are high for a number of reasons, but pointing the finger at Muslims is completely unprofessional and wrong. Wearing a scarf is not a reason that a Muslim should not get hired, or a reason that a Muslim should be fired. Both of which happened at Abercrombie and Fitch stores this past year. Finally, it is the company's job to protect its Muslim workers and make sure they feel safe in the workplace.

Tim McEniff

Mexico aims to protect reporters from cartel violence

The President of Mexico Felipe Calderon announced that a plan to protect journalists will be put in effect after a newspaper photographer was killed in the city of Ciudad Juarez. The photographer's killing was one of the drug cartels many violent attacks against journalists. There has been increased violence against reporters in Mexico since the government launched a crackdown on drug traffickers four years ago. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists stated that at least 22 journalists have been killed and another 7 have gone missing during the four years. Calderon made his announcement after meeting with members of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association. The plan includes making attacks against the news media a federal crime, establishing higher penalties and ensuring no statue of limitations be set on these cases.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39318581/ns/world_news-americas/

Posted by Christine Steinbeiss

Obama: Killing Israelis 'is not resistance'

President Barack Obama is getting ready to speak to the U.N. General Assembly about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in efforts to stop the killing of innocent Israelis. Excerpts from the speech, which were obtained by NBC news says that "it does nothing to help the Palestinian people," and that it is unjust. Obama adds that Palestinian President Abbas is far more courageous for standing up for his people than any man who chooses to take the innocent lives of the Israelis. The speech emphasizes that if the current peace talks fail, the holy land will be the "symbol of our differences instead of our common humanity." Obama's goal is to promote peace throughout the Middle East. He even goes on to say that this time next year, if a peaceful agreement can be made, we may be welcoming a new member to the United Nations. Obama is also said to meet with the leaders of China, Japan, Colombia, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.

For more information on the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39320386/ns/politics-white_house

Posted by Christine Steinbeiss

The Pope's Not So Welcomed Visit to England

According to this article, on Saturday, September 18, and estimated 20,000 protesters flooded the streets of London to protest the Pope's visit to England. Controversy concerning the view homosexuals within the eyes of the Catholic Church was at a peak after Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster stated that gay catholics are "difficult" to place because although they are not condemned as being sinful for their sexual desires, they are considered "inherently evil"by the church for their expression of sexuality towards another of the same sex. The archbishop mentioned a possibility for a future recognition of same-sex relationships but the Vatican is strongly apposed to such an idea.

People also were protesting the Pope's views on use contraception, such as condoms and birth control for women. Protesters held up signs reading "Popes opposition to condoms kills people" and "Keep the Pope out of women's reproductive rights."

Another reason people protested his arrival was due to his, in the protesters opinions, half hearted apology concerning the child abuse scandal within Catholic churches. People are upset that the abusers are still not being convicted of their crimes, and they believe the church is preventing that from happening. The protesters in general were looking for justice in many different and prevalent issues.

Submitted by: Jaime Hacker

Middle East peace talks a top issue for the U.S. at 65th United Nations general assembly

When U.S. president Barack Obama took the stage at the UN general assembly his first priority was pushing for the support of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The talks recently started up again on September 2nd. His main point was that although the Israelis and Palestinians need to make the peace, everyone else must do their part as well. Mr. Obama admitted that the last year has been full of ups and downs between the two parties. However, he said he was pleased with the recent direct negotiations bewteen Isrealis and Palestinians in Washington this past month. The president also recognized the fact that many remained pessimistic about the process, and did not believe an agreement could be made. He said that there would be people on both sides who would try to disrupt the process, and that is why everyone must do their part. The world needs to be building the process up and helping it along, instead of slowing it down. Mr. Obama said that if peace could no be reached quote "This holy land will remian a symbol of our differences,instead of our common humanity." If that will be the case or not is yet to be seen. Mr. Obama is scheduled to speak again later today in which he will come after his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

For more information see the artcile on BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11397555

By: Colin Zimmerman

Key Leadership Changes In North Korea

The leader of North Koreas nuclear arms program has been promoted to vice premier. Seeing that King Jong II is going to resign his position and hand it off to his son, this could be bad. Have they been planning this all along? The US security council has estimated that North Korea has enough materials to produce 7 nuclear bombs. It seems that no matter what regulations North Korea violates, they have no interest in what the security council has to say. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the months to come, is the US and world in danger?

By: Dan Vogrin

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Women dominate Swiss cabinet

Switzerland's parliament has voted a new minister into the government, giving the cabinet a majority of women for the first time.The election of Simonetta Sommaruga, 50 and a Social Democrat is a historic step in a country where women only got to vote on a national level since 1971. Ms Sommaruga will be the fourth female in the seven-member Federal Council in a country where traditionally women have had a low key role in public life. And when it comes to gender equality, the new team still has a ways to go.

By: Alicia Panczyk


Turkey asserts itself in big ways at the U.N

In a series of U.N meeting the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, defended his close relationship to Iran. He explained that his goal is for Turkey to to become a leader in the Muslim world. He also explained how he wants to mend their relationship with Israel. This recent news has left the United States very sceptical and uneasy. Administration officials believe that turkey ties to Iran may allow Iran to fund its Neuclear program with the help of Turkish banks. This also may give America a hard time in creating peace in the Middle East. Turkeys growing economy can pose a big threat to other nations. Along with this Turkey plans to increase its border trade with Iran by 300% in the next 5 years.

Iran Getting Chummy With the Southern Caucasus Countries

Uncharacteristically for the isolated Iran, it is attempting to reach out to it's northern neighbors in the Caucasus. These countries that make up the Caucasus region are Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Iranian officials have been in the Caucasus promising large economic projects meant to build friendship, such as a unilateral waiver of visa for Azerbaijan and Georgian citizens traveling to Iran, and assisting Georgia in building a hydroelectric plant. Iran has also offered to mediate the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. These latest move isn't one of religious motives, it's purely pragmatic. Iran has no interest in allowing the U.S., E.U., or Russia to become too chummy with the countries facing its northern border. Iran, with its massive supply of oil, would also love to cut in on Caspian Sea oil transit routes. Optimistic observers see this as baby steps towards a friendlier, more stable Iran. Others say that Iran is overstretching itself. In the end, economic ties between Iran and the South Caucasus states are still small. Even if the economic ties with the Caucasus states strengthen, with Iran’s long term goals appear to be acquiring nuclear weapons, this is an issue Iran and its new Caucasus “friends” will have to discuss.


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/09/20/irans_near_abroad?page=0,0

Submitted by William Ragan

The Dalai Lama on Poland's Solidarity Movement

The Dalai Lama held a speech in Poland yesterday to commemorate 30 years of Polish freedom. The exiled Buddhist leader remarked how the crumbling of Soviet communism was an important time in history not only for Poland but for the entire world. He noted how many people around the world were inspired by the Polish solidarity movement and how it gave hope to nations such as the Dalai Lama's home nation of Tibet, that one day they may gain their own political freedom. Poland was the first free trade nation to break off from the Soviet Bloc. The Dalai Lama was presented a solidarity medal by members of the Polish Solidarity Party. The Solidarity Party gained fame in 1980 for staging a 2 week strike in Baltic shipyards severely crippling the Soviet trade in the region. Negotiations for peace between Poland and the Soviets lasted from 1981-1989 when finally the Polish delegation negotiated a peaceful end to communist rule in their home country making the country, "the first to escape Moscow's grip."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100922/wl_asia_afp/polandtibetreligionbuddhismdalaisolidarityunion;_ylt=AnFXpdVCoWQpQO3kVBmBa4lvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNtdmtodXZpBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDEwMDkyMi9wb2xhbmR0aWJldHJlbGlnaW9uYnVkZGhpc21kYWxhaXNvbGlkYXJpdHl1bmlvbgRwb3MDMTEEc2VjA3luX2FydGljbGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNkYWxhaWxhbWFoYWk-

Somali Prime Minister Resigns

After a month of disagreements with the Somali President, Somalian Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has resigned. Sharmarke and President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed have clashed over several issues in the Somalian government, including the new constitution for the nation. The resignation also comes as violence contiues in Mogadishu, as a lone gunman tried to force his way into the Presidential palace Monday night. More information on the story here.

-Trevor Magnotti

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

China Refusing to Meet with Japan

The Chinese Prime Minister is refusing to meet with the Japanese Prime Minister at the U.N. this week. A spokesperson for the Chinese Prime Minster says that it would be "inappropriate" for a meeting to happen until Japan releases the Chinese captain that is being held in Japan. China has also cut of many government contacts and exchanges due to the situation. China feels, according to the Chinese spokesperson, that Japan is the one who will have to fix this problem, by letting the Captain go "immediately and unconditionally." Japan detained the captain because, they claim, rammed two of their ships in uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. China thinks that Japan caused the crash on purpose to show their dislike of Chinese boats fishing in the area. According to Japanese law, it must be decided on Wednesday whether the captain will be charged or released, and it is assumed that they will not charge him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/world/asia/22chinajapan.html?_r=1&ref=world

Submitted by: Kathleen Tite

More Problems in Vatican City

The Pope has been busy as of late with claims of scandals involving priests, but this is not the only issue presented to the Vatican. The Vatican bank is being investigated by the Bank of Italy for money-laundering. There are two recent major money transactions that sparked the curiosity of the Bank of Italy; two transfers with not enough information, one for $26 million American dollars and another for $4 million American dollars. Due to the lack of information provided with the transactions, the Prosecutors in Italy have seized the $30 million dollars. The Vatican released a statement claiming they aim for full transparency and have full confidence in in Ettore Tedeschi, the head of the bank. The Bank is headed by Tedeschi and the five top cardinals. The funds the Vatican bank hold are used for "pious reasons." Money laundering expert Jeffrey Robinson stated the Vatican Bank is the most secret bank in the world. There is no way an outsider can know how much money the bank controls, which given how much real estate it oversees, it has to be a substantially large number.

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

Wait, Kim Jong Who?

In a recent article by the BBC, reports have indicated that a conference will be held by The Worker's Party in North Korea on September 28th. This leads to speculation that Kim Jong Il's third son, Kim Jong-un, will be promoted to a higher position and, thusly, be the heir to the rule of North Korea should anything happen to Kim Jong Il. This conference was supposed to be held earlier this month, but has been delayed for unknown reason (some speculate massive flooding, others say it is due to the health conditions of the current leader). Il's health is in question because he has been, in the past, a generally reclusive man, but has been taking more frequent trips to China in the more recent years, thus leading to questions about the nature of those visits, as many think they are medically related. What makes the concept behind Jong-un's promotion, and perhaps future leadership, of the country so odd is that not much is known about him in the public realm. His age is speculated at, and the only concrete, if you will, fact about him is that he is "Swiss-educated," but pictures in the West are non-existent.

Published by: Zach Porlier

Ahmadinejad blames capitalism for global woes

Ahmadinejad nevertheless comes off strong yet again. Claiming that capitalism is all the world's woes is a bold statement he declared while discussing ways to alleviate poverty. His saying we need to "revert back to the divine mindset of a just and fair governance" is reflective of something only doable in an utopia, which is impossible. I think in order to truly fix a problem, it needs to be addressed and picked apart instead of ripping other ways of thinking, such as capitalism apart. I will be interested to see what else Ahmadinejad has to say while speaking with the UN in the remainder of the week. Also, if capitalism is not the answer, which he firmly believes then what is the answer? How do we go about reverting to the divine mindset?

By: Lindsay Weidling

9 NATO Troops Killed in Afghan Helicoptor crash

On Tuesday September 21, Deb Riechmann reported the "deadliest helicoptor crash for the coalition in four years" in her article 9 NATO Troops Killed in Afghan Helicoptor Crash. Though it was only stated that a large number of American troops died in the crash, a total of nine international troops were killed in southern Afghanistan in Zabul Province where it was noted that Taliban insurgents might have been present. Immendiately after the crash, the cause of it was not very apparent, though the Taliban was quick to take credit for shooting down the helicoptor. However, after further invetigation, it was stated that the helicoptor crashed due to mechanical problems and that there was no reports of enemy fire in that area. Even then, the Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told The Associated Press that "insurgents shot down the helicoptor."Still as of now, a spokesman for the provincial governer of Zabul assures that the Taliban were not involved at all.

US urges Iran to return to nuclear talks

Months ago talks about Iran's nuclear program reache a stalement when Iran tried to negotiate an agreement to ship most of its low enriched uranium to be turned into fuel for a research reactor. The U.S and other nations feared that Iran might use the process to manufacture weapons. Now, U.S officials urged Iran to return to talks over its nuclear program. Washington claims that it is interested in re-enganging Iran. However, before doing so it needs to make sure that Iran is sincere in its intentions. At the opening session of a conference held by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday the top Iranian representative urged the U.S to resume the nuclear talks with Iran.

Read Story at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/nuclear_iran;_ylt=AokawHKlEYX90NcgqS9LNaIDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTJmN2N1cHRiBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwOTIxL251Y2xlYXJfaXJhbgRjcG9zAzYEcG9zAzYEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawN1c3VyZ2VzaXJhbnQ-

By Szymon Kesek

Monday, September 20, 2010

Teens in the War on Terror

In this CNN article, a young boy is described and he along with his governmental organization are described as being the best hope for peace and stability in the future of Samolia. Abdullah, a 16 year Samolian boy, is charged with fighting for an Al-Qaeda linked group. Abdullah, along with his friends are members of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) within Samolia. This government is very small and weak within war torn Samolia. Many people believe that this government holds the best hope for peace in Samolia's future, but stand in the hardest chance of obtaining it due to limited resources and power. Despite these odds, the TFG is holding up, with much support and help from the African Union (AU) peacekeepers protecting the UN stake in Mogadish, Samolia. This small transitional government has very limited arms and resources and as it stands cannot afford the men it has. The men have very little food, pay, or arms and therefore many give up or desert due to the terrible circumstances. If this group is the best hope for peace and stability in Samolia, things are not looking so good. The article says that members within the group believe they need to recruit, which they do, but how do they recruit when they cannot afford to feed, clothe, or pay the men they have now? I hope this group can get it together to create a stable Samolia, but as of now I am skeptical. Samolia is such a war ridden insanity right now that it is hard to believe that stability can be accomplished soon, although we all hope it shall. Samolia is the perfect place for terrorist to hide out right now, as described within the article, and without stability there is very little anyone can do to stop the migration of terrorist to Samolia and it is very easy for terrorist to stay within Samolia to plan their next attack with the entire country in disarray. The world will have to help in Samolia eventually and the sooner we step in, I believe the sooner Samolia can be stabilized.
By: Kyle Coia

Arabs Seek Debate on Israel's Nuclear Arsenal at Tense IAEA Summit

The fight between the Arab world and western powers over Israel's nuclear capability is set to play out at this week's International Atomic Energy Agency summit. The Arab world wants Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty at this summit, which would force Israel to reveal all of its nuclear capability. The Arab world tabled such an action at last year's summit but Israel dismissed the document as symbolic but it did result in the publishing of an 81 page report, last month, on Israel's nuclear arms after an IAEA inspection. The report disappointed the Arab nations, just after the IAEA's recent "damning" report on Iran and Syria's nuclear capability, and led them to accuse the IAEA of having double-standards and differences in the way it treats members and non-members, since the report was not up to the standards of reports before. President Obama's position and debates at previous conferences have put pressure on Israel to allow inspections. The United States believes that this upcoming IAEA conference is neither the time nor the place for such issues because of the delicacy of peace talks in the Middle East and that any pressure Israel will result in even less willingness to cooperate. Israel's secretive nature on the issue fuels the Arab nations' feeling of entitlement to nuclear arms programs of their own, while even others are sure of Israel's capability, including at least 400 warheads. Regardless, this could be the beginning of a major arms race in the Middle East.

By Rebecca M. Samson

American detained more than a year in Iran arrives in United States

After 410 days of Iranian captivity, American citizen Sarah Shourd was released from an Iranian prison where she was being held.  Just a little over a year ago Shourd and others were hiking along the Iraq-Iranian border when they mistakenly wandered into Iran.  The Iranian government captured the group and accused them of being American spies.  They were taken to Iran's Evin prison where they were questioned and held by government officials of Iran.  Two of the hikers still remain in Iranian captivity with no timetable for a potential release date.  Upon Shourd's return she said, "It is my deepest hope that the world will not let this humanitarian gesture ... go unrecognized. I believe this decision is a step in the right direction for all of us."  She also praised the Iranian government for her release but also mentioned that she doesn't deserve to be out of prison anymore than the two remaining Americans.  It's my hope that the Iranian government comes to its senses and releases the other two captives so they may return home to their families and friends.


By: Cameron Adams

European Xenophobia

“A far-right anti-immigration party in Sweden has won seats in parliament for the first time, denying the governing centre-right coalition an overall majority.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11370857

The ascent of European xenophobia continues, with parliamentary gains by the anti-immigrant Swedish Democrats following similar victories by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) in Switzerland, the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands, and the British National Party (BNP). The next time someone pushes the narrative that Europe is more tolerant than America, inform or remind them that overtly anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant parties are making significant gains in European parliaments. The SVP, for example, is the largest political party in Switzerland (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7054932.stm). The PVV has 24 of the 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10271153). The BNP does not any seats in the British Parliament, but they do have two seats in the European Parliament (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8088381.stm).

Swiss People’s Party (SVP): “A poster campaign depicting three white sheep standing on the Swiss flag, with one craftily kicking away a black sheep, has been launched and plastered on to billboards, into newspapers and posted to every home in a direct mailshot.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-480493/Proposed-Swiss-immigration-laws-rise-new-racism-xenophobia.html

British National Party (BNP): “The British National Party voted today to change its constitution to allow black and Asian people to become members.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7026702.ece

Party for Freedom (PVV): "I want to encourage Muslims to leave the Netherlands voluntarily.” – Geert Wilders, Dutch MP and leader of the PVV http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL242937120070224

Jacob Nelson

Britain Hands Over to U.S. in Deadly Afghan District

"KABUL, Afghanistan — Britain withdrew the last of its Royal Marines from the violent Sangin District in northern Helmand Province on Monday, handing control in that Taliban stronghold to American troops." This means that even that the U.S wants to remove soldiers there is a strong belief that this would not be in the countries best intrest. The inability to train Afghani troops to support/help in the fight on terrorism almost puts the U.S in the position to seeminlgy not be able to remove to amount of troops in which they wish too. Also with that, Britian is leavin not only Sangin "out to dry" but they are also putting alot of pressure on the U.S to pick up thier slack.

By:Chase Pavlick
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html?hp

China and Japan Escalate Standoff Over Arrest

Two weeks ago, the Japanese coast guard arrested a Chinese trawler boat captain in the disputed waters of uninhabited islands claimed by both countries after a collision with two Japanese boats coast guard boats. This issue underscores Asian fears over China's recent growth in global power, since such a minor charge has turned into a major standoff. The two countries have extensive economic and political ties, according to the New York Times, but these are threatened as trade slows between the two countries and protests begin to break out. Beijing has suspended all interactions with the Japanese government, and threatens consequences against the Japanese if they do not cooperate and set the captain unconditionally free. The fear has become that China will not restrict its claims to territory in the area, and will eventually exert more force than the Japanese. Uncharacteristically, strong calls in Japan have been made to stand up to the Chinese, and Japan's government has turned from its policy of increasing Asian relations to finding protection from Washington D.C. China still see Japan as a front for the U.S. in Asia, and still resents Japanese occupation in World War II. These issues all underpin a highly contentious issue that needs to be resolved, but in its resolve, will hold major implications for the region.
by Margaret Nunne

Brilliant Idea!!

A group of industrial designers have developed a fantastic technology for purifying water in developing countries. The product is known as the "Life Sack" and it uses a solar water disinfection process to purify water. However, what might be most ingenious about this product is that it is designed to also serve as a shipping container for grains or other staple foods. Food is shipped in the bags and then turns into a state of the art water purification system.

-William Muck

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Major Elections in Brazil

Brazil's elections will take place on October 3rd, although it looks as though the presidential outcome is already set. Dilma Rousseff is the front runner with Jose Serra as her only serious threat. Rousseff's major advantage is her support from the popular incumbent, Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva. Ironically, Serra has tried to win votes by running ads of him and Lula together. Much attention is also being placed on the local and legislative titles because many of those seats are about to be decided.

Lacey Watson

War on Homosexuality: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Vote

With the beginning of New Dawn comes another military concern, this time more home based than over seas: Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Don't Ask, Don't Tell came into place in 1993, signed by President Clinton and passed by Congress. The time has come to challenge the 17-year old law, as seen by this Tuesday Senate vote. If both houses, the president, and Pentagon leaders pass the law, the ban on homosexuality shall be lifted. Tuesday's vote could mean either a filibuster led by Sen. John McCain to halt the bill, or passing in the Senate. This crucial vote comes before the November elections, which if the GOP gains could mean a more difficult time passing. Several sources claim passing the vote as a change in public opinion-the article references a public opinion poll favoring repealing the ban. However the article also references a majority military personnel wanting to keep the ban. Either way, Tuesday's vote rests on both sides of the Senate floor, which faces pressure from discharged gays, a new American opinion, and Lady Gaga.

Amy Pacheco

Haitians Cry in Letters: ‘Please — Do Something!’

The January 12th earthquake in Haiti left 1.3 million people homeless. International organizations relocated these victims to relief camps. One thousand three hundred camps were established for the refugees. A new addition to these camps, via the International Organization for Migration, were suggestion boxes. The boxes were intended to give victims an opportunity to voice concerns and complaints. It was expected that the organization would receive a few disgruntled and perhaps angry letters, however after receiving 700 letters in the first 3 days, it became apparent that much more needed to be said. The submitted letters ranged from personal tragedy accounts to demands, yet the same theme was evident. The letters were a plea for help; a cry for compassion. Many refugees are suffering from severe hunger and more often than not are unable to provide food for their children or seek health care, or send them to school. Leonard Doyle, in charge of communications for the organization in Haiti stated, "the $400,000 program was intended to give voice to the voiceless and not food to the hungry or money to the destitute." This tragic response comes as almost no surprise to those seeking refuge as they simply continue to write and continue to suffer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/world/americas/20haiti.html?pagewanted=2&ref=world

Andrew Gates