Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Argentina’s Kirchner shows softer side on campaign trail

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Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner developed a reputation as a sharp-tongued leader who did not hesitate to upbraid company executives, opposition leaders and journalists as president.

Now, he’s looking to showcase a softer side as he returns to the campaign trail — this time as a candidate for Congress.

His high-profile candidacy has taken center stage in Argentina’s June 28th congressional elections.

Kirchner was succeeded by his wife, President Cristina Fernandez, who is struggling to hold on to a congressional majority by her faction of the ruling Peronist Party.

Was Communist East Germany unjust or just corrupt?

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By Jacob Comenetz

A debate about whether Communist East Germany was an “Unrechtsstaat” (“unjust state”) or merely not a “Rechtsstaat” (“state based on the rule of law”) has been dividing the German political class for months — and it now has spilled onto the front pages this week as the reunited country celebrates its 60th anniversary.

What might seem like a nuance of history has turned into a full-fledged battle that is splitting many eastern and western Germans once again along the fault lines of the long since dismantled Wall that separated them during the Cold War.

Dancing Savoy heir on the European campaign trail

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Fresh from his success on the TV show Dancing with the Stars, Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, grandson of the last king of Italy, is campaigning in June’s European elections for Italy’s small centrist party, the Union of Christian Democrats (UDC).

“I had offers from other parties but I feel culturally close to the UDC and its leader Pier Ferdinando Casini,” Filiberto told Reuters on the campaign trail in the small northwestern Piedmont town of Crescentino. “I feel close to its family values, its Christian roots, its ties with the homeland, which I have supported since I’ve been in Italy.”

Fanfare but little substance at orchestrated EU-China summit

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By Tamora Vidaillet and Darren Ennis

Reporters at a long-awaited summit between the European Union and China in Prague Castle learnt more about the art of stage managing set-piece events than about the state of the EU-China relationship.

The Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency until the end of next month, pulled out all the stops to ensure security was tight for Wednesday’s fleeting visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and a handful of ministers, who were kept away from journalists by barriers.

Ushered into a stuffy holding room hours before the meeting, journalists were kept from stepping outside even for a smoke for fear of escaping into the sprawling compound of the castle.

from Africa News blog:

Eritrean passions

I hesitate to blog again on Eritrea, given some of the vitriol that greeted a post last year. For some, Reuters was an apologist and mouthpiece for Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, simply for interviewing him in May 2008. For others, we were doing the CIA’s work by taking some awkward lines of questioning to Asmara.

The passion on both sides reminded me of the torrent of deeply felt responses I used to receive when reporting on Fidel Castro from Cuba between 1998 and 2002.

Austrian far-right leader isolated over Israel stance

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Senior figures from across Austria’s political spectrum have condemned the head of the far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, over his party’s European election campaign directed against Israel and Turkey.

In an advertisement in the newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Freedom opposes the accession of Turkey and Israel to the European Union. Although Turkey is in EU accession talks, Israel is not.

Berlusconi, as he is

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the consummate campaigner. No matter where he finds himself, the indefatigable 72-year-old always makes sure the cameras are squarely on him.

Although he is quick to flash a smile to his supporters, Berlusconi can be just as fast in delivering barbed words to his critics. And when he does not have the time to do it, his supporters are more than happy to oblige.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

How much time does Pakistan have?

Ahmed Rashid's article on Pakistan in the New York Review of Books makes for an alarming read.  Excerpts do not do justice to it,  as you have to read the whole thing to understand why he thinks Pakistan really is on the brink, but here are a few:

"American officials are in a concealed state of panic, as I observed during a recent visit to Washington at the time when 17,000 additional troops were being dispatched to Afghanistan. The Obama administration unveiled its new Afghan strategy on March 27, only to discover that Pakistan is the much larger security challenge, while US options there are far more limited."

Germany looks abroad for Hitler’s helpers

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“The accomplices. Hitler’s European helpers in the Holocaust” is the cover story on this week’s Der Spiegel magazine, Germany’s most authoritative weekly.

Complete with a big picture of Hitler, the headline is deliberately provocative and could even hurt relations with Germany’s neighbours.

Turkey’s political trench warfare

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With court charges of corruption against President Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s conservative establishment opens a new front in what amounts to a form of trench warfare between the AK Party and its opponents. One way or another, a showdown of sorts appears to be approaching.

You’re a Turkish patriot. You’re a hardline general, civil servant, judge or a militant nationalist politician. Like everyone you met at the cocktail party last night, you’re convinced Turkey’s AK Party government is turning your country into an Islamist state; backward, oppressive and isolated. 

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