Global News Journal

from Africa News blog:

‘New moment of promise’ for Africa?

July 11, 2009

As expected, U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech to Africa in Accra had plenty to say on the importance of good governance – but there was also a very strong message that his “new moment of promise” is one that Africans have to seize for themselves.

When the going got tough, this school nurse got creative

July 10, 2009

When her tiny office at a prestigious private school in Queens started to fill up with sick and scared students, nurse Mary Pappas took a deep breath and got inventive.  Check out how her on-the-fly responses might help others trying to cope with the swine flu pandemic:

Criticise Italy at your peril!

July 10, 2009

Attacks on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the British press have hit an especially raw nerve as he hosts this year’s G8 summit and some Italian newspapers have had enough.

Will Hondurans talk to or at each other?

July 9, 2009

TEGUCIGALPA – On one side is deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who insists he must be restored to power.
 
On the other is his replacement, Roberto Micheletti, who insists his predecessor must not be allowed back in the country unless it is to face criminal charges.
    
In the middle is a Nobel Peace Prize winner from the Cold War era, Oscar Arias, whose self-confidence is likely to be challenged by a seemingly intractable conflict.
    
Does anybody really believe the talks today in Costa Rica will find a solution? That they are even taking place is something of a surprise.
    
Micheletti has looked like he would rather bury the family dog than go to the talks. He waited until the last minute to announce definitively that he would attend, perhaps mindful that his own hold on power is tenuous and leaving the country could be risky.
    
He could not have welcomed the announcement from the U.S. Embassy late last night that Washington was cutting off $16.5 million in military aid and was threatening to rescind a further $180 million in civilian aid.
    
The immediate response from the government was to accuse Nicaragua of denying Micheletti use of its airspace to fly from Honduras to Costa Rica. Nicaragua denied the allegation, and Micheletti arrived in San Jose this morning.
    
Zelaya has problems of his own. A GID-Gallup poll published in La Prensa newspaper on Thursday said 41 percent of Hondurans supported his ouster versus 28 percent who opposed it and 31 who said they didn’t know.
    
Many Hondurans believe he acted illegally but Zelaya has support from abroad given wide condemnation of the coup, including from the United States.
    
Zelaya’s best hopes for a return would seem to be to relinquish any dreams of staying in power beyond January and to give up the idea of a amending the constitution to lift presidential term limits. But can he possibly return when the army, the Congress and the Supreme Court — not to mention a sizable portion of the population — don’t want him back?

from India Insight:

Xinjiang – the spreading arc of instability

July 9, 2009

China's troubled Xinjiang region shares borders with eight countries, which is perhaps one reason President Hu Jintao dropped out of the G8 summit to head home, underscoring the seriousness of the situation and the need to quickly bring the vast oil-rich region under control.

from The Great Debate UK:

Squandered oil wealth, an African tragedy

July 9, 2009

arvind ganesan-Arvind Ganesan is the Director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Peace is no kiss, Israeli aide says

July 8, 2009

A top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used an odd turn of phrase to explain what some see as a puzzling demand put to Palestinians by the right-wing leader as a condition for any any Israeli agreement to establishing a state in the occupied West Bank.

Quake tours, spartan rooms at no-frills G8 summit

July 8, 2009

    Hiking through rubble-strewn streets, taking in a quake exhibit or bedding down in a concrete police compound — leaders at this week’s G8 summit in the Italian town of L’Aquila  are in for a change of pace from the routine luxury spa and resort experience of past summits.******    Devastated by an April earthquake that killed nearly 300 people and ringed by tent camps with portable toilets, L’Aquila is a far cry from previous G8 host cities like the Baltic seaside town of Heiligendamm, French lakeside resort Evian and Scottish golf resort Gleneagles.************ ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******    U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders are being housed in a grey police school building on the outskirts of the mountain town, where they are to stay in spartan rooms with granite floors and cream-coloured walls and furnished with little more than simlpe wooden beds with white sheets.******    “There won’t be the luxuries of hotels on (Sardinia’s) Emerald Coast or (Rome’s) Via Veneto, but there will be dignified accommodation worthy of welcoming such important people,” said Italy’s emergency services chief, Guido Bertolaso.******    Room service menus will be absent, but each room will be supplied with instructions on what to do in the event of another earthquake.  Aftershocks have been persistent and plentiful in the run-up to the summit.******    In their free time, leaders can browse through an exhibit on “100 years of earthquakes” in Italy or take up Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s offer of a guided tour of areas laid to waste by the tremor, like Germany’s Angela Merkel did on Wednesday.******Earthquake victims have even welcomed leaders with a giant sign on a hill near the summit site declaring “Yes we camp” to protest the slow pace of reconstruction in the area.******   ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******For all the lack of luxury, L’Aquila does guarantee voters back home will see images of their leaders rolling up their sleeves under the hot Abruzzo sun at a time of recession and financial turmoil.******    “I think it’s better to have (the summit) in a damaged zone than in an ultra-touristy region where people are spending millions of dollars on their vacations, while the leaders are there to discuss solutions to the global economic crisis,” said Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ahead of the summit.******    Italy was initially set to host the annual summit of leaders from the world’s richest nations on the picturesque island of Sardinia, but hastily moved it to L’Aquila citing solidarity with victims when faced with complicated logistics and spiralling costs.******    One thing that won’t be lacking at the summit is fine Italian cuisine, since good food is not a luxury given up easily in Italy.  Among the local delicacies on offer are goat on skewers, baby lamb, rabbit from the small town of Goriano Valli, artichokes from Prezza and red garlic from nearby Sulmona.

Nuclear heats up German election campaign

July 8, 2009

A technical fault at a German nuclear power station has thrown a spotlight on one of the few issues that divide the two main parties before September’s election — atomic energy.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

On War in Pakistan and Afghanistan

July 8, 2009

If you were to apply the advice of 19th century Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz that one of the objectives of war is to destroy the effective strength of the enemy, it is still not clear how that aim is to be achieved when it comes to fighting the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan.