Global News Journal

from FaithWorld:

New, younger leaders for France’s Muslims and Jews

June 23, 2008

This is such a coincidence that some might suspect it wasn't one. France's Muslim and Jewish minorities, both the largest of their kind in Europe, elected new leaders on Sunday. In both cases, they opted for younger leaders who promised to play a more active role in their communities. We may see and hear more from these two groups than in the past.

from Africa News blog:

Has Zimbabwe’s Mugabe been bolstered or weakened by Tsvangirai’s decision to abandon poll?

June 22, 2008

Morgan TsvangiraiOpposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to abandon a controversial run-off ballot against Zimbabwe's strongman President Robert Mugabe would surprise few. Western governments and aid agencies have for weeks voiced the same accusations of violence and intimidation against the Mugabe camp which Tsvangirai cited in concluding that a run-off election stood no chance of being free or fair.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan: watch out for water fights

June 22, 2008

Boy bathes with his pet monkey in Indus river in KarachiDefence analysts in South Asia have been saying for so long that India and Pakistan might solve their problems over Kashmir only to end up at war over water that I had almost become inured to the issue. That was until I read the following comment on an earlier blog about Gulf investors buying up farmland in Pakistan to offset food shortages at home:

Should Tsvangirai abandon poll?

June 20, 2008

rtx74fw.jpgIt’s decision time again for Morgan Tsvangirai. 

With violence spreading and African countries joining the ranks of those who say Zimbabwe’s election run-off cannot be fair, the opposition leader is considering whether to withdraw – which would leave President Robert Mugabe to continue his 28 year rule unchallenged.

Trying to deconstruct Chinese oil policy

June 20, 2008

china-fuel.jpgChina’s surprise decision late on Thursday to slash subsidies on fuel prices has been welcomed as a sign that Beijing is intent on reducing the pace of oil demand growth in the world’s second biggest energy consumer.

from Africa News blog:

Is justice being done in Simon Mann’s trial?

June 19, 2008

Simon MannEton-educated British mercenary Simon Mann has gone on trial in Equatorial Guinea for his role in a 2004 coup plot to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
 
The state prosecutor is seeking a jail term of nearly 32 years for Mann, who has admitted in a British TV interview this year that he plotted to topple Obiang.
 
Mann's defence lawyer has argued that his client was a "mere instrument" in the plot, but not one of the main organisers. The prosecution has named Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as one of the businessmen conspirators who invested in the coup plot. Mark Thatcher denies knowing about the coup and is not on trial in Malabo.
 
So, with Mann's trial and the death of notorious French mercenary Bob Denard last year, is the era of the "dogs of war" over in Africa? Or will Equatorial Guinea's huge oil riches soon tempt others to hire foreign guns for a violent takeover of power?
 
Is justice being done in the case of Mann, or should others be with him there in the dock?
 
obiang_nguema1.jpgThe rule of President Obiang, who overthrew his dictatorial uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in a 1979 coup, has been sharply criticised by international human rights groups who accuse him of abuses and restricting political freedoms. Some might argue that a "regime change" such as the one plotted by Mann might have been good for Equatorial Guinea. What do you think?

Can Gaza ceasefire hold?

June 19, 2008

The Gaza Strip and the Israeli towns and farms surrounding the Palestinian enclave spent a quiet morning on Thursday after a ceasefire deal came into force after dawn between the Jewish state and the  Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza’s 1.5 million people. The absence of mortars and improvised rockets falling on the Israeli side of the border and of Israeli air strikes and ground incursions on the other were welcomed by ordinary people. For Palestinians in Gaza, the biggest hope is an increase in supplies which Israel has kept under tight blockade since Hamas seized control a year ago.
Palestinian police play footballBoth sides, as well as Egypt which mediated the deal over several months and the international powers, have plenty of reasons to see the truce work . The UN even told Reuters it could help pave the way for UN peacekeepers in Gaza.  But equally there are plenty on all sides who are already saying it is as doomed as previous “calms” between Israel and Hamas, which has been shunned by Western powers for its refusal to give up violent tactics such as suicide bombings and Gaza rocket salvos. Not least among the apparent pessimists has been Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has warned the peace may be short-lived. Olmert has plenty of critics who would happily use that adjective of his own career – the prime minister has promised to resign if he is indicted in a corruption investigation that has already seen an American businessman testify to handing Olmert large sums of cash stuffed in envelopes. The premier has survived a series of such scandals in his two and a half years in power and he again denies all wrongdoing. However, his enemies, including within his own coalition government, are circling and could vote next week to dissolve parliament and start the process of triggering an early election .Olmert gestures in Knesset

from Africa News blog:

Why does peace elude Chad?

June 18, 2008

What should Africa do about Zimbabwe?

June 18, 2008

rtx6x6w.jpgWhen Kenya played Zimbabwe in last Saturday’s World Cup qualifying game, the chant of “Mugabe must go” echoed around the stadium from some 36,000 Kenyan fans as Zimbabwe’s football team came onto the pitch.

from Africa News blog:

Rebels reject Niger Delta peace summit

June 18, 2008

niger_delta_rebels.jpgNigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua moved quickly after taking office a year ago to try to  address the causes of unrest in the Niger Delta, where a violent campaign of sabotage against the oil industry has cut production and contributed to an unprecedented rise in world oil prices.