Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Changing China:

Is ‘Lost Boy’ Lomong the right choice to carry U.S. flag?

Lomong celebratesWhen militiamen swept into their villages on horseback in the early 1990s, shooting, burning and raping as they went, tens of thousands of young Sudanese boys were forced to flee for their lives.

They walked for hundreds of miles, many dying on the way of starvation and illness. Others were eaten by lions. But many survived, ending up in refugee camps in the near-desert plains of northern Kenya.

In 2001, nearly 4,000 of the "Lost Boys" were resettled in the United States. On Friday, one of them will have the honour of carrying the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Lopez Lomong, who left his home in the southern Sudan in 1991 as a six-year-old boy, is now a successful middle-distance runner. Chosen by his own team mates for the honour, he says Friday will be "the most exciting day ever in my life".

In Baghdad, life returns to “City of Ghosts”

Photo
-

Children play table football in Baghdad. REUTERS/Kareem RaheemThe pessimism haunting me about Iraq’s future disappeared last week as I returned to Baghdad from a vacation in Syria.

In Syria, my eight-year old son Hani enjoyed the things that we Iraqis have not been able to do since the war began in 2003: staying out late, spending time in parks and open-air restaurants, visiting historical sites.

Italy sends in troops, but why?

Photo
-

“Should I wait until she’s finished?” asks a soldier from an Italian Alpine regiment, in their distinctive feathered Tyrolean-style hat, to her police colleagues as they patrol an area of Turin notorious for addicts known as “Toxic Park” and see a woman shooting up.

Incidents like this one reported in Corriere della Sera newspaper seem to support Italian police unions’ doubts about Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s initiative, which began this week, to put 3,000 soldiers on the streets of 10 cities for the next six months to help the police fight a supposed crime wave. Some police officers believe military personnel, even those hardened by peace missions abroad, do not have the training needed to fight crime.

How much damage will Mauritania’s coup do to Africa?

Photo
-

a-man-walks-in-front-of-mosque-in-central-nouakchott-february-2-2008.jpgSoldiers took power in a coup in Mauritania on Wednesday after presidential guards deposed President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi when he tried to dismiss senior army officers. Abdallahi took over only last year after winning elections to replace a military junta that had ruled since it toppled the previous president in a bloodless coup in 2005. The largely desert nation, one of Africa’s newest oil producers, has suffered five coups since 1978 but Africa as a whole has transformed its reputation for violent government ousters in recent years after notching up around 80 successful coups and many more abortive attempts between the 1950s and 2004.

There have only been a handful of military seizures in the last five years compared to the heyday of military takeovers in the 1960s. In the mid-70s around half of African countries had military governments. Since then, democracy has gradually made ground and attempts to seize power are strongly frowned upon.

New traffic law puts brakes on driving in Cairo

-

The streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo have been unusually quiet since the start of the month and cabbies say they now drive around in fear of the massive police presence, evident at all major intersections. The big junctions have a police “liwa” on duty — equivalent in rank to an army major-general — along with up to a dozen subordinates enforcing, or perhaps working out how to enforce, a draconian new traffic law.

The newspapers publish daily reports of the number of tickets they have given out the previous day — at least several thousand, for offences such as failing to wear seat belts or stopping beyond the white line at a junction.

Turn of the screwdriver – genocide, justice or peace for Darfur?

-

Girl at Zam Zam camp in North Darfur holds her sleeping brother

Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem says Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, is “a screwdriver in the workshop of double standards” for seeking to prosecute the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for genocide in Darfur.  He rejects the term genocide and says the prosecutor is unfairly picking on Africa’s largest country and ignoring war crimes elsewhere.

Moreno-Ocampo accuses Bashir of launching a genocide campaign in 2003 that was intended to wipe out three ethnic groups in Darfur, a desolate and remote region of western Sudan where oil was discovered in 2005. He says the Sudanese leader used mass murder, rape, deportation and “slow death” by starvation and disease to kill tens of thousands in Darfur.  Moreno-Ocampo wants the ICC judges to issue an international arrest warrant for Bashir.

Why is Kirkuk such an obstacle for Iraq?

Photo
-

kirkuk.jpgIraq’s leaders have overcome many hurdles in their struggle to rebuild their country after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003.  But agreeing on the fate of the “ethnic tinderbox” of oil-producing Kirkuk is a particularly testing one.

Why has Kirkuk proven to be such an obstacle? For many, settling its fate seems to be an easy task.

from Changing China:

Bush heads to Beijing for Olympics opening ceremony — your views

U.S President George W. Bush is on his way to Beijing to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, much to the pleasure of the Chinese government, but not everyone believes he and other heads of government should be here.

Some politicians and human rights groups urged Bush to boycott the opening ceremony in protest at China's crackdown in Tibet, and what they see as the lack of progress on broadening domestic freedoms. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has also taken a lot of heat for his decision to attend the opening of the Olympics as holder of the EU presidency.

Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn – dissident and writer

Photo
-

Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn talks to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after receiving a State Prize for his achievements in the humanitarian field at his home in Troitse-Lykovo outside Moscow June 12, 2007.Tributes have been pouring in for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author, former Soviet dissident and Nobel Literature prize laureate who died on Sunday aged 89.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, described the author of “The Gulag Archipelago” and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” as a man of unique destiny and said: ”He was one of the first people who spoke up about the inhumanity of Stalin’s regime with a full voice, and about the people who lived through this but were not broken.”

from Africa News blog:

How will Zuma’s resumed court battle affect South Africa?

Jacob Zuma, the embattled leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) launched a big fight for his political life on Aug. 4, asking the  Pietermaritzburg High Court to dismiss a graft case against him that could stop him becoming president next year. If his application is rejected, a full corruption trial could follow later this year and South Africa could head into a protracted period of tension and uncertainty. Read the following insights from leading analysts and have your say on how the legal process could affect South Africa:

gottschalk_resized1.jpegKeith Gottschalk, the University of the Western Cape (see full analysis)

"Jacob Zuma's Zuma's legal team has already proved, year after year that, if you have a bottomless pocket such as taxpayers, you can protract litigation, U.S.-style for the better part of a decade."

  •