Global News Journal

Interview with North Korea border crosser Robert Park

December 30, 2009

KOREA-NORTH/CROSSING

 (Photographs by Lee Jae-won)

North Korea said on Tuesday it had  detained a U.S. citizen who entered its territory, apparently confirming a report that an American activist crossed into the
state to raise awareness about Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.   Robert Park, 28, walked over the frozen Tumen river from
China and into the North last Friday, other activists said. The Korean-American told Reuters ahead of the crossing that it was his duty as a
Christian to make the journey and that he was carrying a letter calling on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to step down.

Allah, Antarctica and Ancient Inca-The best reads of 2009

December 29, 2009

When I have time to lavish on reading something other than news, I want to spend it on stories that leave me saying, “Wow!” A great read should tell readers something they don’t already know, enlighten them about the world and its people, inform them about the human condition. Readers should be moved to laughter, tears, anger, action through superb writing and extraordinary reporting.  Here are my picks for the best reads of 2009.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Failed airline attack raises fresh questions about battle against al Qaeda

December 28, 2009

departuresIn the absence of a coherent narrative about the failed Christmas Day attack on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, the debate about how best to tackle al Qaeda and its Islamist allies has once again been thrown wide open.

from Africa News blog:

Was Nigerian bomber a one-off?

December 28, 2009

SECURITY-AIRLINE/TRANSITQuite apart from the Nigerian would-be plane bomber’s lack of success, there are other reasons why Africa’s most populous nation cannot be expected to produce a rash of similar cases.

from Africa News blog:

Lessons for coup makers?

December 24, 2009

Guinea soldiers.jpgPresident Barack Obama’s decision to end trade benefits for Guinea, Madagascar and Niger shows some stiffening of Washington’s resolve to act against those seen to be moving in the opposite direction to demands for greater democracy in Africa.

Meeting the Banda Aceh “tsunami family” five years on

December 24, 2009

masakoReuters Television producer Masako Iijima, one of the many journalists who covered the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, went back to Banda Aceh in Indonesia to reconnect with a family she had met five years ago.
Here’s her story :

“Earth to Ban Ki-moon” or how a deal was sealed in Copenhagen

December 22, 2009

cop15Sweden complained that the recent Copenhagen climate change summit was a “disaster.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described it as “at best flawed and at worst chaotic.” Sudan’s U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, dubbed the outcome confirmation of a “climate apartheid.” For South Africa it was simply “not acceptable.”

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan: Through the eye of a needle

December 21, 2009

lawyers celebrateFor the first time in many months, the future of Pakistan is being determined not in the fight against Islamist militants, but within its institutions -- its judiciary, its political parties, its government and its military.  Last week's decision by the Supreme Court to strike down a 2007 amnesty given to politicians and bureaucrats has provided Pakistan with a rare opportunity to remodel itself as a civilian democracy based on the rule of law.  But the way forward is so fraught with difficulties that assessments of its chances of success are at best sober, at worst ominous.

Parallel worlds at U.N. climate talks

December 18, 2009

protesterWhile UN climate talks involving world leaders descended into chaos and farce in the rooms and corridors of this immediately forgettable Copenhagen exhibition centre, a parallel world flourished in its main conference hall.

from The Great Debate UK:

Sudan: Preparing for a peaceful southern secession

December 17, 2009

francois_grignon_apr09_206[1]- François Grignon is Director of the Africa Program at the International Crisis Group. the opinions expressed are his own. -