Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

SUMMERTIME BLUES FOR EU REFORM TREATY?

Photo
-

European Union officials are thinking the unthinkable — they could hold a summit in July, during the normally sacrosanct summer break set aside for Brussels’ Eurocrats.

Diplomats say there is mild panic in the EU capital at the thought that the regular June summit — where the bloc is due to discuss the Lisbon treaty reforming the EU — could be chaired by Eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

The idea is that it would be better to postpone the discussions on the treaty until July, by which time Sweden will have replaced the Czech Republic as holder of the EU presidency.

Prague has not yet confirmed which of its officials will chair the June 18-19 Brussels summit after the collapse of the Prague government last month. But Klaus, who has described the Lisbon treaty as an irrelevance, could try to do so.

Dalai Lama in NY urges Americans to visit Tibet

Photo
-

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday urged Americans to visit his homeland to disprove China’s assertion that people are happy there.
 
Speaking in Manhattan, the Tibetan Buddhist, who fled his homeland in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, said Beijing insists, “Tibetans are very happy.” 
 
“The Chinese government never admit, never acknowledged there is a problem,” he said. “So now I think the world community has a responsibility to show the world there is a problem.
 
“If the majority of Tibetan people are happy, then our information becomes wrong, then … we must apologize to the Chinese government,” the Dalai Lama said to laughs from the audience of 1,500 people.
 
Noting China cast itself as a liberator of Tibet rather than as a colonialist, he said, “A liberator should not bring more misery.
 
“So please, you, non-Tibetans, go there … and then you must show it to the world,” he said, “I urge you, please go there.”
 
On April 23, China urged the United States not to let the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing brands a separatist, visit the country. “We oppose the Dalai Lama going to any country to engage in splittist activities under any pretext,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.
 
The Dalai Lama’s Sunday event was a conversation with former Irish President Mary Robinson.
 
Robinson, also a former United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, called the lack of progress on human rights in Tibet, “heartbreaking from a human rights point of view.”
 
The Dalai Lama replied, “I am happy, I hear also one splittist.”
 
Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a reactionary who seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the land mass of the People’s Republic of China. It has been using its diplomatic clout to try to block the pro-Tibetan message.
 
The 1989 Nobel Peace laureate denies the charge, saying he seeks greater rights, including religious freedom, and autonomy for Tibetans.
 
His week-long trip to the United States included a variety of events in California, Boston and New York but does not include a meeting with President Barack Obama.
 
The Dalai Lama, together with tens of thousands of exiled Tibetans, has lived in India since he fled Lhasa.

Photo credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer. The Dalai Lama listens at the “Wisdom and Compassion for Challenging Times” event in New York May 3, 2009.

Tracking the flu with George Washington

Photo
-


Northwestern professor Dirk Brockmann thinks he can track the spread of H1N1 flu and other future epidemics, thanks in part to the humble $1 bill.

“We’re looking at how people travel in the United States and Europe and trying to find a theory behind human traffic,” Brockmann said. “Then we can unravel the structures within these networks and explain them.”

Pirates, Pawnbrokers and a Pint: the best reads of April

Photo
-

Hi, is that the Somali pirates?”
Your best source is jailed. You track high-sea hijacks by text and email, get through to captors on a satellite phone. Reporting on Somali piracy can be surreal. During the saga of American Richard Phillips, Reuters reporters in Somalia contacted Phillips’ captors on their lifeboat stalked by U.S. warships.

Online ‘blood plague’ offers lessons for pandemics
In 2005, a plague called “Corrupted Blood” caused mayhem in the online game World of Warcraft. An estimated 4 million players were affected by the pandemic. The Corrupted Blood plague accidentally provided something unprecedented — a chance to safely study a pandemic in a uniquely complex virtual environment in which millions of unpredictable individuals were making their own decisions.

  •