Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
BOSTON — In Peshawar, Pakistan, the sermons of radical imams are carried on loudspeakers atop the minarets of mosques, and the words echo in the narrow streets.
The Pakistani Taliban is strong in Peshawar. In recent months, the Taliban leadership has used these radical sermons to step up recruitment of young fighters in their jihad against the Pakistani government and across the border in Afghanistan.
The Taliban recruiters are playing off bitter resentments over the Pakistani military’s offensive that left millions displaced. The Taliban also exploit anger over America’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan, using it to search for young men willing to kill in the name of God.
Catherine Ashton has signalled her intention of giving the European Union’s relationship with the United States more prominence in her new role as the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.
How productive that relationship proves to be depends largely on how much Washington believes it needs the EU and how much it deals with the European Union as a whole, rather than with its member states one-to-one.
from Afghan Journal:
One of the first things that U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates did during his trip to India last week was to assure Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the United States did not intend to cut and run from Afghanistan. America was committed to Afghanistan for the long-term, he said, trying to calm Indian concerns over the Obama administration's stated plans to begin withdrawing troops from July 2011.
It struck me as quite remarkable that India, long a prickly nation opposed to superpower presence in the region, had so openly pinned its hopes on a prolonged U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Quite a change from the time it would rail against the presence of such "extra-regional" powers.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
What is the U.S. policy towards Pakistan and India, and in particular over how to deal with their rivalry over Afghanistan which complicates U.S. efforts to bring stability there? I've been trying to find an answer for weeks now amid a raft of contradictory signals and statements coming from different U.S. officials.
First we had the leaked report by General Stanley McChrystal in September suggesting the issue should be handled with caution given Pakistani sensitivities about a big rise in India's presence in Afghanistan following the fall of the Pakistani-backed Taliban in 2001.
Edwin Paraison, Haiti’s new Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, was working in his office on Tuesday, Jan. 12, when the walls started shaking and the building fell down. The doors were blocked, but he and his assistants escaped through broken windows as Haiti’s capital was torn apart by an earthquake feared to have killed as many as 200,000 people.
They then spent four hours working to free two colleagues trapped inside the ruined building. “The four of us, we got a pickup truck, and tied a rope, and used it to pull off the rubble,” the minister said.
Since then, Paraison has been working non-stop. As the man responsible for relations with Haitians living outside their country, Paraison, who is also an Anglican priest, has served as an essential conduit for information about friends and relatives for thousands and thousands of expatriates frantic for information about loved ones.
“All I was doing was helping people, helping people,” he said. “As a priest that is what I should have done.”
But like the other government ministers, who have been reduced to holding meetings on sidewalk, Paraison has been working without an office or even a desk. But he said he felt lucky because the Minister of Finance lost his son, and the Minister of Tourism lost his mother and father.
“My office is my laptop,” he said ruefully on Saturday, during a stop at a partially collapsed hotel in the capital, Port-au-Prince. “I came here because I heard that there is Internet here and it is free.”
Paraison said he started his job two months –- to the day -– before the quake struck, after 26 years living in the Dominican Republic, first within the church, later as Haiti’s consul general and finally as a consultant.
“The prime minister, who is a good friend, called me, and asked me to please take the position,” he said, adding that he has no regrets about the timing.
“All of us who are here are writing a new history, and I feel, as a result of the tragedy, the chaos, will be a new life for those who were saved by God,” he said. “And I feel a commitment to the reconstruction.”
Photo Credit: A young Haitian girl waits at a makeshift refugee camp as her country struggles to rebuild for a powerful earthquake believed to have killed 100,000 to 200,000 people. Reuters/Eliana Aponte
By Tom Brown
MIAMI – Since my return from Haiti, many have asked me what it was like that first week after its devastating earthquake. Here are but a few impressions:
What were the 9,000 United Nations police and troops already stationed in Haiti supposed to be doing there in the immediate aftermath of the quake? It flattened the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known by the acronym MINUSTAH and killed dozens of U.N. employees, including the mission chief, Hedi Annabi.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos recalled this week that it had been said of the previous U.S. administration that what American diplomacy needed was “regime change”. Europeans, meanwhile, he said, simply needed “a regime”.
America got its regime change with President Barack Obama, Moratinos explained this week, while Europeans got a new regime with the Lisbon treaty, a document that is supposed to help bolster the EU on the world stage and creates a more powerful foreign policy chief for the bloc.
from Africa News blog:
The simple answer to the question of how many people died in Congo’s civil war is “too many”.
Trying to get a realistic figure is fraught with difficulties and a new report suggests that a widely used estimate of 5.4 million dead – potentially making Congo the deadliest conflict since World War Two - is hugely inaccurate and that the loss of life may be less than half that.
-This is a guest post from Rigoberto Giron, who is heading up CARE’s emergency response efforts in Haiti from CARE HQ in Atlanta. Any opinions expressed are his own.-
Just outside of CARE’s offices in Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, hundreds of newly homeless people are camped out in a public square. During the day, they wait patiently in the scorching sun. But at night, when hunger and thirst overtake them, groups of people can be heard clapping and chanting. Daybreak reveals new banners that read, in English and Creole, “We need help!”
Everybody who knew French Canadian U.N. staffer Alexandra Duguay loved her. She was attractive, energetic and extremely intelligent. I got to know her well when she worked behind the media counter at U.N. headquarters. She was always eager to make sure we reporters had the latest resolutions, U.N. reports and speeches. And in the evening she enjoyed a glass of wine or beer at the Delegates Lounge. But she was bored with her job and wanted more adventure. One morning last spring she had an unusual twinkle in her eye. I asked her if something was up and she said yes. “I’m going to Haiti.” A few months later she had her going-away party at the U.N. Correspondents Association room. She and her boyfriend prepared for their imminent deployment to Haiti, where Alex was to be a spokeswoman and media coordinator for U.N. operations in the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation.
Alex quickly settled into her exciting new job. Late last year she emailed me an update of life in Port-au-Prince: “Even though it’s a bit of a s****y place, I can’t complain. I just spend too much time between my house and my hotel room, a.k.a. office. Yeah, we have peacocks as pets … Haitians are nuts. Lovely but nuts.”