Global News Journal

Sun setting on Merkel coalition?

June 30, 2010

GERMANY-PRESIDENT/As the sun started to set on the west side of the Reichstag on Wednesday evening — and perhaps on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right government as well — delegates to the Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly) began switching to beer from the preferred beverage earlier in the day — coffee, water and apple juice.
 
There was an unmistakeable air of “Endzeitstimmung” (doomsday atmosphere) on the comfortable rooftop terrace of the historic German parliament building, where the catering is superb and the view of Berlin breathtaking. 
 
The conservative delegates on the Reichstag roof were easy to spot — they were the ones with worried looks on their faces after a couple dozen unidentified “rats” from within their ranks twice failed in votes during the afternoon to give Merkel the votes she needed to get her candidate elected.

from FaithWorld:

Gunning for Godfried? Belgian abuse probe asks what Danneels knew

June 29, 2010

standaardAre the Belgian judicial authorities gunning for Godfried? It looks like Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the popular grandfatherly Catholic prelate who stepped down in January as archbishop of Brussels-Mechelen after three decades, is the main target of the incredible "tomb raider" sweeps that shocked the Church last Thursday. The police who swooped down on the diocesan headquarters in Mechelen, Danneels's own apartment nearby and the offices of the Church commission on abuse in Leuven did not suspect the cardinal of abuse himself. But it seems the investigating magistrate behind the raid is convinced that Danneels hushed up cases during his long reign.

Japan PM gets face-time with Obama

June 29, 2010

Toronto.jpg

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who took office earlier this month, hoped to impress voters as he made his debut at a meeting of G8 and G20 leaders in Canada last weekend, but saw media play at home overshadowed by the World Cup and a scandal roiling Japan’s traditional sport of sumo.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan’s policy on Afghanistan: finding the devil in the detail

June 28, 2010

petraeus kayaniIn the increasingly frenetic debate about what to do about Afghanistan, Antonio Giustozzi has a must-read report on prospects for negotiating with the Taliban. In particular, he offers a rare window into Pakistan's often opaque policy towards Afghanistan by providing the context within which Pakistan might be able to bring the Taliban into a political settlement .

If Guinea Can…

June 26, 2010

conakryIf  Guinea can pull off free and fair elections this weekend, it will lay the foundations for what could be one of Africa’s most unexpected and significant good news stories.

AUSTRALIAN PM RUDD’S FAREWELL

June 24, 2010

AUSTRALIA-POLITICS/

By Michael Perry

Chief Correspondent, Australia

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised so much but in the end failed to deliver the generational change voters had hoped for when they swept him to power 2007.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

In the drama of the runaway general, don’t forget Pakistan

June 23, 2010

mcchrystalOn a visit to Pakistan in April, two comments stayed in my mind, encapsulating the Pakistani view of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.  One was from a political analyst in Islamabad, which stood out for the unusualness of the imagery.  "Obama," she said, "has tried to put his feet in both boats."  The other was from a senior serving officer, who appeared to be giving a personal opinion rather than reading from the script prepared for more official briefings.  "The Pashtun areas (of Afghanistan) are slipping out of the hands of ISAF and NATO, and everybody knows it," he said.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan – yet again, past is prologue

June 22, 2010

raobashirGiven the row over General Stanley McChrystal's comments in Rolling Stone magazine, the slow process of repairing relations between India and Pakistan is unlikely to get much attention. But there is some movement there, which is worth watching closely since the relationship between the two plays such a defining role in the attitudes of the Pakistan Army and by extension, in Pakistan's perceived approach to Afghanistan.

from AxisMundi Jerusalem:

Writing on the walls

June 21, 2010

09062010185aPalestinians in the Gaza Strip may just feel a little less isolated today. Israel is bowing to international pressure and rejigging its embargo on the  enclave in the wake of the bloodshed 3 weeks ago when it enforced a longstanding maritime blockade.

Work starts for Santos after Colombia election win

June 21, 2010

COLOMBIA-ELECTIONS/After weeks of waiting, Colombia’s presidential election run-off was so one-sided it was over in minutes.