Global News Journal

24 Hours in Gaza

December 17, 2008

The Gaza Strip is a small land of strange contradictions. Where else can a rocket explosion be the sound of a ceasefire, or donkey carts be a sign of progress? Israel has restricted access across its border for foreign journalists but I was able to get in to spend 24 hours there this week. As the “calm” agreed between Israel and Gaza Hamas Islamist rulers six months ago draws to a possible end this week, let me share some notes on a day in one of the oddest places on earth.

Australia and its neighbours

December 17, 2008

 

With the Rudd Labor government now in power for just over a year, it’s worth looking what at has changed in the country’s foreign policy and its security implications for the region. Is the region, particularly Southeast Asia, ready for Australia’s new advances?

from The Great Debate:

George Bush and Iraq: ‘Shoe’denfreude?

December 16, 2008

Salim Adil is an author for Global Voices Online, a website that aggregates, curates, and translates news and views from the global blogosphere. The opinions expressed are his own and those of the bloggers he quotes.

Should the ANC be worried?

December 16, 2008

There was jubilation, defiance and a sense of history in the making in this farming community this week when some 4,000 South Africans gathered to lay the groundwork for what may be a seismic shift in the political landscape.

China, and the slowdown showdown

December 16, 2008

America caught a cold and now China has one too. 

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Monday that the Fund could cut its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2009 to around  5 percent. To think that only last year China was galloping at a double-digit clip. It’s staggering, and it’s worrying.

Neo-Nazi stabbing shows western German ills

December 15, 2008

It is not just eastern Germany that has a problem fighting far-right militants.

The stabbing of a German police chief on his doorstep in southern Germany, which prosecutors suspect is a revenge attack by neo-Nazis angry about a crackdown on their activities, has exposed the uncomfortable reality that western Germany has troubles of its own.

Lebanese lovers escape sectarian strait-jacket

December 15, 2008

Lebanon’s beaches, ski slopes and nightclubs exude glitzy modernity. Its educated elite appears cosmopolitan and sophisticated. But beneath the gloss lie deeply traditional aspects of a society reluctant to shake off a sectarian power-sharing system in which loyalty to one of Lebanon’s 17 religious communities takes precedence over citizenship.

from MacroScope:

Sssh. Don’t say stimulus

December 15, 2008

William Safire, the language maven whose musings on how we use words have graced The New York Times and other newspapers for decades, has discovered something about the current crisis. Not for the first time, politicians are scrambling to avoid using common words that might get too close to the truth.

Two-shoe salute for Bush at farewell visit

December 14, 2008

Not one but two shoes thrown at the president of the most powerful nation on earth! I will never forget those two or three seconds as those leather shoes — size 10s according to U.S.President George W. Bush — spun through the air, missing the president’s head by inches.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Brinkmanship in South Asia

December 14, 2008

Pakistan said two Indian Air Force planes violated Pakistani airspace on Saturday, one along the Line of Control in  Kashmir and the other near Lahore  in Pakistan proper. Pakistani officials said Pakistani jets on patrol chased the Indians away and that the Indian Air Force, upon being contacted later, told them it had happened accidentally.