Global News Journal

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Revisting America’s war in Afghanistan

September 26, 2008

File photo of Afghan riding a donkey past a destroyed tankI finally got around to reading Charlie Wilson's War (much better than the film and considerably longer) about the U.S. Congressman who managed to drum up huge amounts of money to fund the mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Omar Sheikh, a childhood friend turned Pakistani militant

By Daniel Flynn
September 25, 2008

Marriott Hotel in IslamabadThe weekend bomb which tore through the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing 53 people, was a reminder that Pakistan is entering the eye of the storm of Islamist militancy. But for me, it was also a more personal reminder of a childhood friend who went from a suburban upbringing in London to become one of Pakistan's most notorious militants.

Axis of rejection? U.S., Iran, North Korea snub nuclear test ban pact

September 25, 2008

Pakistan's nuclear-capable Hatf 4 (Shaheen-1) missile during a test launch 

There is a saying in English that people are judged by the company they keep. If this  applied to countries, the United States would not fare well when it comes to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
 
Although Washington signed the pact, which would ban all nuclear tests if it ever comes into force, in 1996, U.S. lawmakers have never ratified it. Eight other countries with nuclear activities must ratify the treaty before it can enter into force.
 
Those other hold-out countries are China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and Pakistan. Two of those — Iran and North Korea — are members of a trio which U.S. President George W. Bush once referred to as the “axis of evil.”
 
Iraq, which was a member of Bush’s axis of evil until the U.S. invasion in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, signed the treaty last month, though Iraqi parliament has yet to ratify it.
 
The treaty opened for signatures 12 years ago. Since then, 179 nations have signed and 144 ratified it. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno Ugarte told a news conference on the  sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that “these nine countries must not hold the international community at bay.” 
 
Ugarte was one of some 40 foreign ministers who issued a joint statement calling on the United States, Iran, North Korea and the rest to ratify the treaty. 
 
Even veteran Hollywood Actor Michael Douglas, a U.N. messenger of peace, appeared at the United Nations in support of the CTBT alongside former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and the Costa Rican, Australian and Austrian foreign ministers. 

Tsunami of anger over financial crisis

September 25, 2008

bush.jpg Today’s European edition of the International Herald Tribune is fronted by a photo montage of the presidents of Senegal, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Argentina, France and Brazil.

from Environment Forum:

Bush speech to U.N.: “terror” 32, “climate” 0

September 24, 2008

U.S. President George W. Bush addresses the 63rd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York September 23, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES)U.S. President George W. Bush upset some delegates by failing to mention "climate change" or "global warming" in his final speech to the United Nations -- in which he referred to terrorism 32 times.

Afghan President gets unintentional laugh on Palin meeting

September 24, 2008

karzai-palin.jpg

Afghan President Hamid Karzai got an unexpected laugh on Tuesday for his straight-man reaction to a question about Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Choosing your friends: Pakistan, the U.S. and China

September 23, 2008

President Bush meets President Zardari in New York/Jim YoungWhile Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is in the United States discussing U.S. military strikes across Pakistan's border, army chief General Ashfaq Kayani is on a far less publicised trip to China to talk about defence cooperation. The timing may be coincidental, but the potential implications of the United States and China playing competing roles in Pakistan are huge.

France and Darfur: Dirty deals over genocide or pragmatism for peace?

September 23, 2008

Sarkozy at U.N. General Assembly 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that if Sudan changes its behavior and actively supports growing international calls for peace in Darfur, Paris would back suspending any indictments the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

from Africa News blog:

Can Africa beat corruption?

September 23, 2008

cpi_2008_cmyk-africa.jpgTransparency International's annual corruption report card is out and there is little surprise that many African countries are well towards the bottom of the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Small farm financing looks secure despite Wall St meltdown

September 23, 2008

UNITED NATIONS – Small farmers feed nearly 2 billion people globally and the rise in commodity prices has put a crimp in their ability to do business as well as feed themselves.