Sunday, March 11, 2012

Indigenous Ecuadorians march to protest copper mine

Several hundred people began marching from a province in the Amazon rainforest to protest a proposed copper mine owned by a Chinese company. They foresee water contamination and dislocation, and seek to prevent the Chinese company from opening a mine there. The government of Ecuador, having just signed a billion dollar contract with a Chinese mining company, says local people will see their share of the revenues, but most are rightfully doubtful.

Ecuador and other developing countries will continue to struggle with with issues like this as companies in China, the US and other world powerful countries seek to secure resources at whatever cost. While the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.

Bob Hartzer

Worst round of Gaza-Israel violence in year shows no signs of letting up

Cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza has significantly increased in the last several days. The violence was triggered by Israel's killing of a top Gazan militant. Gazan militants responded by firing dozens of rockets at Israeli towns, causing great damage. In turn, Israeli airstrikes have killed three Gazans, one militant and two civilians. Egypt has tried to mediate the conflict that has killed 16 Gazan civilians and disrupted the lives of more than 1 million Israelis living in Gaza rocket range. This ongoing conflict has left both sides "badly bruised" as the article put it, Israel in the diplomatic arena and Hamas on the battlefield. It seems like neither side is interested in a significant escalation. Hamas hasn't used some of its more harmful weapons against Israel, and Israel has explicitly stated that they are not interested in escalation, although Israel promises that they will use force on those who harm them. The US and UN have called on both sides to exercise restraint.
Jill Laumbacher

Israeli airstrikes enter fourth day in Gaza

At least 18 people have been killed in the Israeli airstrikes intended for terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The strikes are intended for a weapon storage facility and five rocket launching stations. The Israeli Defense Force and Palastinian officials met on Sunday to apparently discuss a cease-fire. However, the continued bombing in Gaza throughout Sunday night and early Monday morning suggests that the peace talks have once again failed. Israel says that the airstrikes are a response to more than 100 rocket bombings from Palastine into Southern Israel since Friday. The Israeli Defense Force issued a statement about the airstrikes, saying "The IDF is prepared to defend the residents of Israel and will respond with strength and determination against any attempt to execute terrorist attacks." Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the renewed bombings from both sides were caused by Israel killing two prominent Hamas leaders in the first wave of the airstrikes.

by Rachel Foy

U.S. Soldier Kills 16 Afghan Civilians

A U.S. army sergeant invaded multiple houses, killing sleeping Afghan villagers and setting fire to their homes. 16 people were killed, 9 of them children. The man is in custody, but officials believe there may be others involved. As the tensions caused by the fatal Quran burning protests began to ease, this event has threatened U.S.-Afghan relations and has people questioning the presence of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Tristan Hunter

Move toward vote of no-confidence in Egypt

Egyptian MPs have voted to move towards a vote of no-confidence against the military government. The move could lead to confrontation if the government refuses to resign. The Prime Minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri, is also in talks with the IMF for a $3.2 billion loan which could get complicated should to vote occur. Egypt's system of government only allows the military council to discharge and appoint cabinets however. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, who holds 43% of parliament seats, argues that the government should resign or be dissolved if it loses confidence of the parliament

Derald Willey

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Trouble with #StopKony

World Affairs' blogger Elizabeth Dickinson pointed out the problems of #StopKony Movement. The Movement is still explosive on social media especially among teenagers. She said "it’s a good reminder to all of us that we can’t ignore the things that happen on this planet, no matter how far away or buried they are." However, as we discussed in the class, she argued the problem of the Movement is that it failed to read real context of the LRA problem in Africa. In spite of the obvious overlap between the period for Joseph Kony to continue his crims in Uganda and the period for Museveni to keep his power in the state, the Movement didn’t ask its viewers to seek diplomatic pressure on President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni’s administration. What Museveni is fear of is that, like Dickinson critically argued, if we "take away the enemy of the state, and perhaps people would start asking strong questions about the state itself, which isn’t functioning terribly well and is becoming increasingly authoritarian." That is, to get rid of the bad leader of LRA cannot be one simple solution for any country in Africa. We read the very message of Nibuher: we can and should be morally outraged. But we have to be humble. We can and should act to get rid of this bad man Joseph Kony, but at the same time, we shoud be cautious of unexpected and uncontrollable result and influence from that simple act on African continent.

Sophia Park

Yemen Air Raids 'Target al-Qaeda Militants in South'

According to several reports suspected al-Qaeda fighters are being targeted in air strikes in southern Yemen. Raids on Friday and Saturday have reported killing between eighteen and forty-five militants. These strikes are aimed toward positions west of Bayda and around Jaar, which is rebel-controlled. According to local sources the attacks in Bayda are being done by US drones or warplanes targeting a stronghold of Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani, a local al-Qaeda leader, but there is no official confirmation. Jaar, on the other hand, was struck by Yemen air force planes. In the past AQAP has been known to possess bases in southern Yemen, thus unmanned US drones have previously struck them. After months of protests demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, militants who are said to be linked to al-Qaeda are said to have exploited a security vacuum in the area.

Aleksandra Ruseva

Thursday, March 8, 2012

American In Egypt Appears in Court

There is only one more American that is facing charges of working with United States- bakc nonprofit groups in Egypt today. Even after being bailed out by the National Democratic Institute, he chose to stay behind to stand trial. Robert Becker, the American standing trial, was emailed but could not be reached for a comment. The seven Americans that were arrested in Egypt were originally under a travel ban but it was somehow mysteriously lifted as long as bail was posted. The other six were flown out last week and none of them returned for the trial today, except for Robert Becker who stayed. Becker could face six or more years in jail if convicted of "accepting unauthorized foreign funding for unlicensed nonprofit groups." What is up for dispute is that these laws are rarely enforced. About a dozen Egypt employees are also facing trial along with Becker.

Jessica Connor

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012

Charity organization Invisible Children, whose cause is to get Joseph Kony to face trial in an international court on charges of using children as soldiers and numerous other human right violations, has made headlines with their release of their viral video "Kony 2012". The video now has over seven million views, and attempts to educate the American youth of what has been going on in Africa since the 90's; children being abducted by Kony's rebel group and being forced in to mass murder. Kony's group, the LRA, is considered to be a terrorist organization that started in Uganda but is now thought to be in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the groups inception, Kony and his soldiers have killed thousands of people, and their is no doubt that this man is dangerous and needs to be stopped. But a few people are starting to refute the video's accuracy of the facts, and a recent Foreign Affairs Report suggests that they are greatly exaggerated. One Canadian college student has questioned the group's call for military intervention and their clear emphasis on their film making skills. Further, a spokesman for the U.N.'s Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has come out and said that the videos depiction of the group's current strength is not what it actually is, and that the group is "on its last legs". The spokesman went on later to say that the estimated number of soldiers still fighting for the group is somewhere around 200.

By: Tyler Lundquist

Crackdown on Iranian Internet

On Wednesday Iran’s Supreme Leader spent time organizing a governmental body in which he has substantial influence in, to oversee the Iranian internet. This crackdown on the internet does not come as a shock because for a long time now Iran has tried to use censors, block websites, and filter keywords. The article even mentioned that in 2010 the Revolutionary Guard set up a “cyber army”. As the article released, “Hundreds of internet users have been arrested and some even sentenced to death”. With the newly established Supreme Council of Virtual Space, the Supreme Leader decreed to “protect Iran from harm resulting from the increasing spread of information and communication technologies, particularly that of the global internet network and its important role in personal and social life”. This new crackdown does not seem out of character for Iran and comes after the Arab spring and would enable the government further control of information and communication in periods of political unrest.

This simply demonstrates the wide range of influence and power that Iran’s supreme leader possesses. After the most recent elections in Iran it is looking like Ahmadinejad and the how presidential office in the Iranian government is going to be dissolved. This would leave only the supreme leader and his puppets in charge of the country.
To read more:

-Kathleen Fultz

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

North Korea Performs Live-Fire Drills

In a recent growing trend, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un is inciting a heightened military presence near the South Korean border, giving a sense that a war between the two nations may be imminent. Kim handed new weapons to soldiers at a base camp that held live-fire military drills, allowing but a few media outlets to witness the training. It is believed the reason for the drills may be because of plans for American-South Korean live-fire drills to be done through April. Kim is resisting the plans of those drills, believing they will complicate the agreement made recently to halt nuclear production for food aid. The reported live-fire drills between the American-South Korean soldiers are said to include tactical invasion maneuvers, which leads one to ask whether the drills carried out by the North Koreans was acceptable or not.

Lucas Habeeb

World Powers Agree to Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran

The global powers, including the UN's five permanent members and Germany, have said on Tuesday that they had accepted to resume talks with Iran on its nuclear issue. “I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, “we hope that Iran will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress.” This new round of face-to-face negotiations will take a form of series of meetings with no fixed deadlines and won't get under way until early April because of the New Year Holiday in Iran and preliminary discussions to decide important details like site for the talks, according to EU officials. However, they also noted to put pressure on rapid progress regarding that a military strike by Israel could otherwise be the result.

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, said in a statement reflecting the unity among the US, China, and the EU against Iran's nuclear program: “We all agree that the international community should demonstrate its commitment to a diplomatic solution by acknowledging Iran’s agreement to meet, by testing its desire to talk and by offering it the opportunity to respond to our legitimate concerns about its nuclear intentions.

Meanwhile, France showed skepticism that the talks may repeat "the fruitless discussions in Istanbul."

Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s foreign minister, warned that Iran only damages its own interests through “tactical maneuvering and playing for time”.

Iran's reactions will be very interesting to watch for in the next few weeks.

Yen Do

Monday, March 5, 2012

Deputy Commander of Pakistan Taliban Demoted

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, removed his deputy commander, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, on Sunday at a Taliban council of leaders. The deputy commander is the second highest ranking leader of the Pakistani Taliban. He has not yet been replaced by another leader. Although he has been removed from his position, he will probably be appointed to another one. It is argued that this only the latest evidence that there is a rift amongst the group, which began in August of 2009, when Baitullah Mehsud, the former leader, was killed. Once the previous leader was killed, Faqir Mohammad was one of the first in line to become to leader, but he had to settle for his position as deputy commander. Since then, the relationship between he and the central leaders of the Pakistani Taliban.

Kathleen Tite

Shining Path boss captured in Peru

Peruvian police have captured Walter Diaz Vega who was suspected to be involved with a rebel group known as the Shining Path. The Shining Path had been a major communist force seeking to remove the existing Peruvian government in the 1980s and 1990s. Vega had reportedly been planning to reorganize the group after its previous leader, Comrade Artemio, was arrested last month. Only remnants of the original group remain after the arrest of Artemio, but small militant groups have still fought in rural areas of the state in attempt to gain control of the cocaine trade. Vega will be transported to Lima where he will be charged.

Meghan Steinbeiss

Iran Aiding Syria?

It has been said by two U.S. ranking officials that Iran is doing everything it can to ensure that the current Syrian regime stays in power. Syria has proven to be one of Iran's closest allies, and its location in relation to Iran is essential. It seems that Syria, and many Latin American countries are loyal to Iran. If Iran were to lose Syria to revolution the power dynamic that Iran possess right now will be broken. Th report states that officials have traveled back and fourth meeting with Syrian officials, and supplying Syria with military aid to help stop the revolting of the people. If the Syrian government were to be put on trial for their actions it will be interesting to see if Iran will be held somewhat accountable for the onslaught. My take on this is if Iran were to lose arguably its closest alley they would be heavily outweighed in terms of political might.

-Dan Vogrin

Sunday, March 4, 2012

25 Police Killed in Iraq

At 2 a.m., two police officers were kidnapped from there homes by a gang of gunmen and shot. The carefully planned shootings continued through two police checkpoints, exchanging gunfire at each. In the end, the gunmen raised the flag of al-Qaeda. 25 Police officers were killed, three were injured, and three gunmen were killed.

It should be interesting to see if other countries intervene to help end this violence.

Tristan Hunter

200 dead in Brazzaville arms depot explosion

On Sunday, an explosion at an arms depot killed 200 people in Brazzaville, the capitol of the Congo Republic. There were also hundreds of others injured. A spokeswoman has stated that the cause is related to a short circuit within the depot. Furthermore, rumors of a coup or attempted mutiny were put to rest by the Congo Republic's Defense Minister. The Congo Republic government has stated they will care for all the injured and dead. Among the dead were 3 Chinese construction workers. Whether or not American help will come is of great interest.

Cody Follis

Chavez Says Tumor was Malignant

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reported in a televised message that his tumor that was removed from his pelvic region was malignant and had not spread to any other parts of his body. He recorded this message in Cuba where he is currently receiving treatment. The tumor was said to be a recurrence of the initially diagnosed cancer and he is scheduled to undergo radiotherapy. It is unclear whether he will receive this treatment at home in Venezuela or if he will remain in Cuba for the treatment.There are photos of the Venezuelan President walking without assistance after he had received the surgery and it is reported that he remains positive.

by Matthew Draper

Putin 'elected Russian president'

Obviously this comes as no surprise to anyone, however this time there was more protest over accusations of fraud. Putin claimed to his supporters that the election was won fairly and honestly. He has spent the last four years as the Prime Minister of Russia.

The BBC article stated:

"But opposition groups have reported widespread fraud, with many people said to have voted more than once.

They have called for mass protests in central Moscow on Monday.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of supporters of Mr Putin gathered with Russian flags and banners outside the Kremlin for a concert to celebrate his victory.

Making a brief appearance with current President Dmitry Medvedev, Mr Putin thanked his supporters from "every corner" of the country.

"I promised you we would win, and we won," he said, his eyes watering. "Glory to Russia!" "We have won in an open and honest battle. "We proved that no-one can force anything on us."

Slogans on the banner included "Putin - our president" and "We believe in Putin", but there were indications that some participants had been ordered to attend."

Once again that old communist rhetoric has returned. Many nations in Eastern Europe and the West worry that this is not a good sign and that Russia may be reverting to old tactics. This is leading to more massive protests in Moscow. Opposition leaders are claiming they will not stand for this. Only time will tell where this will lead.

Post by Rima Gungor

Lebanon Expects Influx of Refugees From Syria

A United Nation official said that as many as 2,000 people feeling the war in Syria were believed to be heading toward Lebonese border on Sunday. This signalled a growing humanitarian crisis in Syrian cities and villages. Turkish offcials have also spoken of increased flows of refugees who were guided by activists and smugglers to several camps in Turkey. Some of the 11-refugee group have said that there was constant and heavy military presence along their way as they fled and that Syrian government had been using helicopters to fight rebels and military defectors. One man who fled Hama with his wife and daughter said: “We do not have any petrol. We do not have any cooking gas. Even if they don’t kill us, we’re going to freeze to death.” It looks like the situation in Syria is prone to deepening crisis.

Yen Do

Turkey wants to annex northern Cyprus

Turkey would consider annexing northern Cyprus if talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots fail to reach a deal on reunification of the island. Since Cyprus was divided in 1974, both sides of negotiations have not reached any solution for the problem. Turkey's European Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis  said that Turkey would support any decision reached by both sides. Yet he believes that there are only a very few possible outcomes of the negotiations. Bagis considers annexation of northern Cyprus by Turkey as one of the possible outcomes. However, many Turkish Cypriots consider the idea of annexation as absolutely unacceptable. 
Northern Cyprus is not recognized by any state except for Turkey that heavily subsidizes northern Cyprus

Oksana Vernygora

Self Immolation in China

A Tibetan woman burned herself to death in the Chinese province of Sichuan. This is apparently the latest in a "spate of self immolations". According to the BBC, over twenty people have set fire to themselves to protest Chinese rule in the past year. The Chinese government has increased security in Tibet and Tibetan inhabited regions, foreseeing increased disobedience in the month of March, which is a significant month to Tibetans because of historic events including the Dalai Lama's exile.

Police presence in Tibetan areas is escalating, along with internet censorship and surveillance at monasteries. Tibet is one of many criticisms of China, but it has a broad support, especially here in the United States. China's disrespect for human rights remains a contentious issue with the Chinese government, and a blotch on the United States'.

Bob Hartzer

Ammo dump explodes in Congo, killing 100-plus

Numerous explosions at an ammunition dump has killed 123 people and wounded more than 2,000 more. There are estimated to be more than just the 123 people dead says the director of protocol, Betu Bangana. He says that "many bodies may be 'unfindable.' " The explosions happened in Brazzaville, the capital of Africa's Republic of Congo. The explosions happened early this morning when a short circuit caused a fire to break out at the dump and set off a cache of tank shells. Many homes have been destroyed in the neighborhoods surrounding the ammunition dump site, and hospitals are "overflowing" with people wounded from the explosions, with hospitals overcapacity and people lying in the hallways waiting for help. The explosions were so forceful that windows shattered in buildings up to 3 miles away in Kinasha, the capital of Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC's military immediately responded by mobilizing tanks and troops on the banks of the Congo River, which separates the two countries. Only when it became clear that there was no actual attack did the DRC draw back its troops.

by Rachel Foy

Syria: Red Cross blocked from again from Baba Amr

The Syrian government has yet again blocked the Red Cross from entering the area Baba Amr. The Red Cross needs the approval of the Syrian government in order to enter this area, due to checkpoints and the army. They have been hoping to receive access to this area for quite some time, but have been denied repeatedly. In response, they have gone to several areas such as Abel (a town nearby where many of the people displaced from Baba Amr have fled to). The Red Cross intends to go to many other areas, but due to the sheer size of the need in certain towns in Syria, they have not been able to distribute their services evenly.

By: Kaitlyn Gordon

McKeon's Afghanistan surge

Due to the resurgence of violence the past two weeks in Afghanistan, a California Republican, Buck McKeon, has called for legislation to be passed that will send more troops back to Afghanistan. The increase in violence was caused by Americans accidentally burning some Qurans and other religious material. The plan the McKeon is proposing would be to guard U.S entities by replacing the Afghan nationals currently protecting them. It is said that Afghan soldiers and security guards have demonstrated a "general loathing of U.S soldiers" and have turned violent towards them. They have attacked NATO troops roughly 200 times in the past 5 years resulting in the deaths of 70 NATO troops. He estimates that 11,000 troops would need to be added.

Jordan Tassio

Obama warns of force against Iran, but urges diplomacy

With talks of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, President Obama has come out and said that he is not opposed to using force to deal with them, but would much prefer to take diplomatic measures to avert a potential war. Sanctions and pressure has been put in place, which might persuade Iran to agree with negotiations. However, these sanctions have only helped Iran, by forcing oil and gas prices to increase a fair amount in the last couple weeks. President Obama is set to have talks on Monday with Prime Minister Netanyahu over the actions of Iran.

Jim Michalik

The Korean War?

New leader Kim Jong Un has been attempting to prove his stature as a militaristic man in North Korea, and in an attempt to further his popularity, ordered the troops stationed on the North-South Korean border to be on "high alert." He also attended rallies that supported an military invasion and even was present when crowds began to chant battle cries against the South Korean president. This comes after Jong and US leaders reached an agreement to freeze nuclear power plants in exchange for food aid. How will Obama react? If an invasion occurs, will he send troops to help assist our South Korean allies? The coming weeks will be very interesting in Asia.

Lucas Habeeb

Poland Suffers Deadly Train Crash Near Szczekeciny

According to local officials in southern Poland, two trains, carrying about 350 passengers at the time, have collided leaving 16 people dead, one of whom was an American woman, and another 58 injured. Helicopter ambulances from Warsaw and Wroclaw were used to transport the injured to nearby hospitals. The accident occurred on Saturday night on the Warsaw-Krakow mainline in Szczekeciny. One of the express trains was on the wrong track and collided head on with another. Prime Minister Donald Tusk and three other cabinet ministers arrived at the scene on Sunday morning. President Bronislaw Komorowski will announce a state of national mourning after emergency teams remove the wreckage from the track. This process is said to be quite complex according to local firefighters and will, therefore, take some time.

Aleksandra Ruseva

Putin Wins Russian Elections

Vladimir Putin won the Russian Presidency collecting roughly 60% of the vote, 40% more than his closest opponent. Opponents of Putin have claimed he tampered with voting using a technique called "Carousel voting" where certain voters are bused from polling station to polling station to vote for one candidate, in this case, Putin. The overall turnout was reported to be "much higher" than in 2008, where Putin did not run for president due to term limitations. (He ran for Prime Minister that year, the post he holds today.)

Erik Brown

On Defense, Obama Speaks to U.S. Backers of Israel

On Sunday President Obama gave a strong speech defending his administration's commitment to Israel's security in response to the Republican presidential candidates who have called for a more forceful response to Iran's nuclear program. In his speech President Obama declared he would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran and if the situation called for a military response that option was not off the table.

"I do not have a policy of containment," Mr. Obama said, to a cheering crowd. "I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I've made clear time and again during the course of m presidency, I will not hesitate to use for when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."

Mr. Obama then went onto address the security problems posed by too much loose talk of war. "For the sake of Israel's security, America's security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster." Any military strike would only delay Iran's nuclear program not deter it.

President Obama then briefly commented on domestic polities then returned to affirming his commitment to Israel's safety and security stating, “But as you examine my commitment, you don’t just have to count on my words,” he said. “You can look at my deeds.”

Mr. Obama declared, to applause: “There should not be a shred of doubt by now: when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.” He added: “So if during this political season you hear some question my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts.” President Obama concluded his speech once again affirming his administrations strong support of Israel and also reminding the American public that force would only be used when the time and circumstance call for it.

Nicole LeDonne

China military spending to top $100 billion this year

Beijing's Communist rulers are planning an 11% increase in the military budget this year, surpassing the $100 billion mark for the first time. The defense budget for 2011 was $91.5 billion, a 12.7% increase over the 2010 budget of $78 billion. Continued increases in defense have brought up questions about China's long-term intentions as a military power. China has been focusing on technology in addition to building up the pure numbers of The People's Liberation Army. They have a home-built J20 stealth jet fighter and an aircraft carrier, a refurbished 1998 purchase from Ukraine. Chinese leaders maintain the peaceful nature of their defense program, yet, what can be said about a country who by 2015 is projected to have a defense budget that surpasses the total of its 12 Asia Pacific neighbors? This kind of military power sends jitters around the region, since China has become increasingly assertive over long-standing territorial claims, especially regarding the resource-rich South China Sea. Several regional countries like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam have begun increasing their military capabilities in response to China's growth in spending and assertiveness. Some US allies, like the Philippines, have appealed for a stronger US presence in the Asia Pacific.
Jill Laumbacher

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yemen Suicide Bombing

One solider was killed in Yemen by two suicide bombers who proceeded to drive a car strapped with explosives a base in Al-Bayda. The terrorist group al Qaeda has taken responsibility for the attack stating that crimes committed by the Republican Guard were the motive behind the attack. There was no way for authorities to solely place blame on anyone for the attacks however a text message received stated that al Qaeda was at fault. It is said that the outburst of violence since last year can be attributed to the former president. It is interesting to look at how the spread of small cells of al Qaeda into different nations will affect the fight on terror. With the recent expansion of terrorism to boarding nations who already had terrorism as a problem, I think it is time for the world to look at terrorism as a real, and imminent threat.

-Dan Vogrin

Obama says Iran strike is an option, but warns Israel

Before the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama confirmed the US position that she will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons but at the same time, he warned Israel not to rely too much on military option which can provide a way that Iran can "portray itself as a victim of a aggression" Pointing to Libya and South Africa, Obama noted that countries tended to relinquish nuclear weapons on their own, rather than as a consequence of military action. And he said such military action would only delay, not prevent, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. The US, he said, is seeking a permanent, not a temporary, solution. Interestingly, Obama spoke about how Iran’s acquisition of a weapon would set off an arms race in the Middle East, offering a robust case for why the West could not emply “containment” strategy toward Iran the way it did the Soviet Union during the cold war. Mr. Obama is to speak about the timing issue of any attack against Iran to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday.

Sophia Park

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Violence Continues After Accidental Quran Burning

Two Afghani men, one dressed as a soldier and the other as a civilian, shot and killed two American soldiers earlier today at a joint base in the Southern part of the country. The two men are reported to be an Afghani soldier and a literacy teacher; both of whom are the latest indication of growing anti-Americanism after the Quran Burning incident last week. Over the past two weeks this now brings the American death toll to six, while Afganhi casualties are said to be a little over thirty. It is now obvious that the American apology issued has not smoothed over the relations, and this has now raised numerous questions about the training of Afghani Security Forces as foreign forces look ahead to their 2014 departure date.

By: Tyler Lundquist

Forbes creates list honoring businesswomen in Asia

Forbes recently published a list of the fifty most powerful women working in business in Asia. The list was dominated by women from China and Taiwan. The rest of the list included women from South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The list represents a progression of the power and influence of women in the region. It is especially powerful as many women in Asia still face inequality in the workplace. Notable women on the list include Gina Rinehart of Australia and Ekta Kapoor of India. The company stated that the women on the list were chosen for their "hands-on management of profit-seeking companies".

Meghan Steinbeiss