Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

EU to tackle gender pay inequality


By Sangeeta Shastry EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding

Men are still paid more than women in Europe but the European Union is promising to narrow the gap.

The executive European Commission set out its plans to address the pay gap between men and women at a news conference to coincide with International Women’s Day, saying women were on average earning only 82 percent of male rates in the EU.

European Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Commissioner Viviane Reding said the Commission would work with member states to raise awareness and did not rule out using legislative measures to promote wage equality.

“We will all work together to make sure the gender dimension is visible and integrated in all policies which come out of this house,” Reding said.

from Afghan Journal:

Terror index: Iraq down, but Afghanistan and Pakistan red-hot

A U.S.military convoy in southern Afghanistan

A U.S.military convoy in southern Afghanistan

Iraqis  are voting today for a new parliament and despite the bombings in the run-up to the election, the over-all trend is down, according to the Brookings Institution. Not so in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theatre, America 's other war, which remains red-hot according to a country index that the Washington-based thinktank  puts out for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The index is a statistical compilation of economic, puiblic opinion and security data.

It's quite instructive just to look at the numbers in the three  countries. Weekly violent incidents in Iraq are  about 90 percent less frequent than in the months just before the surge.  Violent deaths from the vestiges of war are in the range of 100 to 200 civilians a month, meaning that mundane Iraqi crime is probably now a greater threat to most citizens than politically-motivated violence, Brookings says in its latest update.

Balancing powers in the Malacca Strait


SINGAPORE-SHIPPING/THREAT  Singapore’s warning of a terrorist threat in the Malacca Straits has again highighted the issue of who is in charge of security in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

 Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have stepped up sea patrols in the strait after Singapore’s navy said on Thursday it had received indications a terrorist group was planning attacks on oil tankers.

Papandreou wrestles with family legacy


PAPANDREOU.jpgAs he struggles to pull Greece back from the brink of financial ruin, Prime Minister George Papandreou’s heavy political legacy is proving to be both a blessing and a curse.

The eldest son of the late premier Andreas Papandreou, the socialist maverick who threatened to take Greece out of the EU while milking it for generous subsidies, can tap into the deep pool of adoration many Greeks still feel for the elder Papandreou, draw on his famous words and deeds to make difficult austerity measures more palatable.

from Africa News blog:

African poverty falling faster than thought?

NIGERIA/The old image of an Africa doomed to get ever poorer has certainly lost credence over the past decade even if it is a view still held by some.

Well, according to a new study, Africans are getting wealthier more quickly than previously believed and the poorest continent's riches are also spreading beyond the narrow confines of its elite.

from Blogs Dashboard:

The feeling on Iran? Watch NAM

Could developing nations cause headaches for Iran at the U.N. nuclear watchdog?

What they think about the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) latest report on Iran is important because Tehran has often been able to count on a certain amount of support from the 118-nation bloc of mainly developing nations at the agency, which makes decisions by diplomatic consensus.

International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano opens his briefcase during a news conference after a board of governors meeting in Vienna March 1, 2010.

International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Around half of the agency's members are in the group, known as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which includes Iran, Syria, India, South Africa, Pakistan and Cuba among its ranks.

from Afghan Journal:

Taliban demand freedom of speech, condemn ban on attack cover

(Afghan widows in Kabul. Picture by Ahmad Masood)

(Afghan widows in Kabul. Picture by Ahmad Masood)

Afghanistan's Taliban have condemned a government plan to ban live coverage of their attacks, saying the measure was a violation of free speech.   For a group that had itself banned television, not to mention music during its rule from 1996 to 2001, that's pretty rich irony.

On Monday, Afghan authorities announced a ban on filming of live attacks, saying such images emboldened the  militants who have launched strikes around the country just as NATO forces are in the middle of an offensive. A day later, officials promised to clarify the restrictions, and hinted they may row back from the most draconian measures.

EU tests its vision with 2020 strategy


In 2000, the European Union set its sights on becoming the world’s most dynamic, knowledge-based economy by 2010. It failed. Economic recession hardly helped, but EU officials acknowledge its goals may have been a little too ambitious.

On Wednesday the European Commission, the EU executive, unveiled a new 10-year plan to boost economic growth and create jobs. The Europe 2020 strategy is intended to create a greener and more prosperous economy and will be the centrepiece of the EU’s efforts to emerge from financial crisis.

Is the EU finally embracing GM crops?


The European Union’s decision to grant the first new cultivation approval for a genetically-modified crop in 12 years has been welcomed by the biotech industry as a return to “science-based decision making”.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-country union, wants to free the approval system from the divisive politics that have long surrounded and embittered the GM debate in Europe. When it approved the growing of BASF’s “Amflora” potato on Tuesday, it confirmed its intention to allow member states to decide whether to allow approved GM crops to be grown on their soil.

Should Norway bail out Iceland?


icesaveWhile not exactly pocket change, Iceland’s $5.5 billion Icesave debt to Britain and the Netherlands amounts to just 1.2 percent of the value of Norway’s offshore wealth fund. For Iceland, it’s more than $15,000 per citizen.

Given the two countries’ close historic links — Norwegian Vikings discovered the Atlantic island where people still speak a version of “old Norwegian” — speculation about Oslo coming to the rescue has Reykjavik licking its lips.