Global News Journal

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Taliban talks and Mullah Omar’s Eid message

September 1, 2011

Since reading Mullah Omar's lengthy Eid message on his view of Afghanistan's future, I have been trying to work out, without success, what it means for prospects of talks with the Taliban. It is a piece of evidence without context, available to anyone to bolster whatever argument they care to submit.

UN Syria sanctions draft targets Assad, family

August 24, 2011

Western nations circulated a draft U.N. resolution on Tuesday that calls for sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, influential members of his family and key associates.

from Afghan Journal:

America in Afghanistan until 2024 ?

August 22, 2011

The Daily Telegraph  reports that the status of forces agreement that the United States and Afghanistan are negotiating may allow a U.S. military presence in the country until 2024 .  That's a full 10 years beyond the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops and handing over security responsibilities to Afghan forces.

UN tells Mbeki he got it wrong on Ivory Coast

August 18, 2011

    UN peacekeeper in Ivory Coast in April 2011. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

This week U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, defended the United Nations’ record on Ivory Coast.  In a highly unusual public rebuttal, Nambiar told former South African President and African Union mediator for the Ivory Coast conflict, Thabo Mbeki, that it was he – not the international community — who got it wrong in the world’s top cocoa producer.

UN sends mixed signals on civilian deaths in Libya

August 15, 2011

The United Nations has been sending mixed signals lately about NATO’s record with civilian casualties in the alliance’s sixth month of air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s troops and military sites. U.N. officials and diplomats said it was hardly surprising that different senior officials at the world body are finding it hard to keep a consistent line on the conflict, which, back in March, most of them had hoped would be over in a few weeks. 

Berlin Wall, 1961-1989, R.I.P

August 13, 2011

There is something a bit bizarre, yet fascinating, about the way Berlin and the local media mark the anniversaries of the Berlin Wall’s construction on Aug. 13, 1961 and the anniversaries of its collapse on Nov. 9, 1989.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

When there are no people in Pakistan

August 8, 2011

Rarely does a story reveal so much so unintentionally as this month's article in the New Yorker by Nicholas Schmidle reconstructing the May 2 raid by U.S. forces who found and killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad. The article, beautifully written in the genre of Black Hawk Down, purports to tell the inside story of the Navy SEALS on the raid, right down to what they were thinking, or indeed, in the case of one of them, what he had in his pockets.

Video: DSK accuser press conference

By Reuters Staff
July 28, 2011

The woman accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, Nafissatou Diallo, tells a news conference in New York that she and her family are ”going through a lot” — including crying everyday and sleepless nights. Rough Cut.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan: moving out of intensive care

July 28, 2011

The joint statement released after the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan was so predictably cautious that inevitably attention focused on Pakistan's glamorous new  foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and  her designer accessories (a Hermes Birkin handbag, we were told.) Much of the debate was about whether it was sexist to comment on her appearance/question her competence; whether she had performed well in her television interviews (CNN-IBN is here); and whether it was appropriate for a minister to be so expensively attired. (See Dawn's slideshow for some snarky captions.)

from Environment Forum:

The power of a soccer ball

July 18, 2011

Anyone who watched the women's World Cup final might have wondered if it's possible to harness that pure human energy. Turns out, it is. There's enough power in a soccer ball to light the night -- or at least a part of it.