Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Mandelson fends off EU’s back seat drivers


Mandelson - keep your hands off the wheelImagine driving a car with 27 people on the back seat trying to steer. That’s the image Peter Mandelson painted of his role negotiating at the World Trade Organisation on behalf of all European Union countries – some of which are not entirely supportive of the way he is taking things.

Although the EU gave the trade commissioner a negotiating mandate for the crunch talks under way in Geneva, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, hardly Mandelson’s greatest fan, said he would not sign up to the deal on the table.

Not only does Mandelson have to put up with public barbs from the French leader, he also has to report back daily to national EU delegates who have followed him to Geneva to ensure he keeps to the mandate they gave him. In his blog, Mandelson says it will increasingly be the case in the EU that member states will have to learn to keep quiet and let their representative do the talking.

“There is no question that the decision to negotiate collectively in the WTO gives European member states much greater weight in the WTO and the global trading system, but it does require 27 proud diplomatic services to take a back seat to the EU’s negotiators at exactly the moment when every instinct tells them to have a hand on the wheel,” he said.

The Trials of the Turkish Jihadi


   “(It) is a very sensitive topic, so sensitive it can break many people’s hearts, and so delicate it can destroy many Mujahideens’ dreams.”

    A senior Jihadi offers us an unusually frank insight into problems of recruiting dedicated and disciplined foA suicide attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July killed 41 people.reign fighters to battle U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

What people in Germany are saying about Obama’s visit


obama.jpgObamamania has hit Germany hard, but many here are wary of the big show the Democratic presidential candidate will put on in Berlin on Thursday, when his speech at the “Victory Column“ could attract hundreds of thousands.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Die Zeit magazine that the “young and open” Obama was raising hopes of a renewal in transatlantic relations and for that reason he should be heeded.

Do you Doha? Cutting through the jargon at the WTO


Where is green beige, 54 the same as 60, and the potato a tropical vegetable? Welcome to the Through the Looking Glass world of the World Trade Organisation.

Although the issues being discussed in Geneva this week could ultimately affect everyone on the planet in terms of their effect on the economy, prices and employment, understanding the jargon of the ‘Doha round’ is reserved for a privileged few who can decipher its twisted language and countless acronyms.

Karadzic arrest — a chance to move on


Radovan Karadzic - then and now  The capture of Radovan Karadzic
after 11 years on the run is likely
to improve Serbia’s chances of joining
the European Union and enhance the
new government’s credentials with EU
leaders. It also gives ordinary Serbs hope
of a better life, 17 years after the start of
the wars that preceded the break-up of
    Karadzic wanted Serb areas of Bosnia to be linked to a greater
Serbia at a time when Slobodan Milosevic was fanning nationalism in
Serbia. When I first met him in November 1990, he was already
warning of civil war because of what he saw as a conspiracy against
Serbs in multi-ethnic Bosnia.
    He still has some die-hard supporters in Serbia but
otherwise there is little sympathy for the man facing genocide
over the deaths of about 100,000 people in the siege of
Sarajevo and 8,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of
Srebrenica during the war.
    The U.S.-brokered Dayton peace agreement ended the war
without a clear winner, dividing the country into two
ethnic-based halves — the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb
Republic, which have co-existed in an uneasy alliance since.
  Karadzic and Milosevic in undated photo

  Karadzic’s arrest sets the stage for a major trial at the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,
created 15 years ago to prosecute war crimes committed during
the 1992-95 Bosnia war. Milosevic, his former ally, went on
trial at the ICTY on genocide charges but died in 2003 before
the end of the trial.
    Avril McDonald, an associate lecturer at Groningen
University and a specialist on the tribunal’s proceedings, says
the Office of the Prosecutor will need to deliver a speedy and
efficient trial as the tribunal faces a deadline to wrap up
proceedings within the next couple of years. “The trial
doesn’t need to last more than a year,” McDonald said.
“They will try to get a conviction quickly.” 
    During Milosevic’s four-year trial, prosecutors called
nearly 300 witnesses and the annual budget at times ran to more
than $270 million. Milosevic chose to defend himself and used
the tribunal as a platform to advance his political views and
disrupt proceedings.
    Critics fear Karadzic could do the same. Costs will be high.
    But the arrest and trial offers many individuals a chance of
some closure on a bloody chapter in their personal lives. It
also represents an opportunity for Serbia to finally move on
after a violent period of recent history.
    “They can now begin to put the past behind them and move
forward towards Europe,” said Paddy Ashdown, who for almost four
years was peace overseer in Bosnia.

Inflation rate no mystery to Iranian shoppers


Iranian President Ahmadinejad gestures as he speaks during a news conference after the Eight Developing Islamic Nations summit in Kuala Lumpur. Iranian President Ahmadinejad gestures as he speaks during a news conference after the Eight Developing Islamic Nations summit in Kuala Lumpur The simple answer is inflation is rocketing. But it doesn’t really answer the question analysts often ask which is: what is the actual inflation rate in Iran? To that there is more than one answer, which often seems the case in the Islamic Republic.

    The Central Bank of Iran generally cites two figures. The first is sometimes referred to as the average rate for the consumer price index, which in May hit 19.8 percent. The second is the central bank’s year-on-year rate, which was 25.3 percent in May.

from Africa News blog:

What chance of success for Zimbabwe talks?

rtr20ed8.jpgZimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC are holding talks in Pretoria aimed at thrashing out a power-sharing deal to end the country's political crisis.

President Robert Mugabe, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and a smaller MDC faction signed a framework for the talks in South Africa on Monday -- a deal that South African leader Thabo Mbeki said committed Zimbabwe's political rivals to an intense timetable.

from UK News:

Brown outdone by Obama effect

brown.jpg Gordon Brown has not had the best of luck since replacing Tony Blair as British prime minister a year ago. Now it seems Brown's bad luck has followed him overseas.

On a trip to Iraq and Israel this weekend, he had the misfortune to have U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama following hard on his heels -- and grabbing the lion's
share of media attention.

from Blogs Dashboard:

Iran Geneva talks: whose interpretation will triumph?

EU foreign policy chief Solana shakes hand with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Jalili before a meeting on nuclear issues in Geneva.REUTERS/Denis Balibouse    Was the meeting in Geneva filled with "meandering" small talk? Or did the discussions between world powers and Iran begin work on an intricately woven carpet, that in time, would yield an "elegant and durable" outcome?

    The two views, the first voiced by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the second by chief Iranian nuclear  negotiator Saeed Jalili, say much about how the two foes approached Saturday's meeting to resolve Iran's long-running nuclear row with the West.

from Africa News blog:

Mandela at 90: How should his legacy be preserved?

mandela_90_poster_resized.jpgTributes poured in on Friday as anti-apartheid struggle icon and international statesman Nelson Mandela celebrated his 90th birthday.

Mandela is revered globally for using his personal charm to promote reconciliation in a racially divided country on the verge of a racial bloodbath after his release from 27 years in apartheid jails for battling white domination. The emerging multiracial or rainbow nation he moulded is seen as his greatest legacy.