Global News Journal

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan on the U.S. see-saw

March 26, 2010

wagah2Few who follow South Asia could miss the symbolism of two separate developments in the past week -  in one Pakistan was cosying up to the United States in a new "strategic dialogue"; in the other India was complaining to Washington about its failure to provide access to David Headley, the Chicago man accused of helping to plan the 2008 attack on Mumbai.

from Afghan Journal:

Burying the Powell doctrine in Afghanistan

March 23, 2010

A U.S. soldier in Helamd. Picture by Shamil Zhumatov)

A U.S. soldier in Helmand. Picture by Shamil Zhumatov)

Early this month Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered what military experts are saying was the final nail in the coffin of  the Powell doctrine, a set of principles that General Colin Powell during his tenure as chairman laid out for the use of military force. A key element was that the military plan should employ decisive and overwhelming force in order to achieve a rapid result. A clear exit strategy must be thought through right from the beginning and the use of force must only be a last resort, Powell said, the experience of Vietnam clearly weighing on him.

Australian voters worming to PM Rudd

March 23, 2010

rudd001    If Australia’s election worm has its way, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be re-elected in a landslide victory later in 2010.
    Rudd on Tuesday won the first of three televised debates, say political analysts, kick starting what will likely be a drawn-out eight-month campaign ahead of elections tipped for November.
Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott had the killer lines, but it was the PM’s bookish, technocrat style which struck a chord with voters watching the debate.
    Two commercial television networks which broadcast the debate used a controversial opinion “worm”, a moving line that dips and rises into negative or positive territory according to so-called “wormologist” viewer reactions as each politican spoke.
    Almost everytime Rudd opened his mouth, the worm soared upwards, before diving to earth the moment camera’s switched to the otherwise telegenic Abbott.
    It seemed pugnacious Abbott’s straight-talking style could make no dent against Rudd, whose popularity in major opinion surveys has been sliding dramatically in recent months, although he remains on course for victory.
    “I’m at a terrible disavantage in this debate because I’m not capable of waffling for two minutes the way the prime minister is,” quipped Abbott to live audience laughter.
    Dip, on both networks.
    Most political analysts had opined ahead of the debate that taking part in a debate was a brave move for Rudd, who has been accused of lacking courage to push forcefully for many of the key reform promises that spearheaded his victory two years ago.
    “Some Labor hardheads firmly believe Rudd may have made a strategic mistake,” said senior journalist Lenore Taylor in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
    But by the end of the debate, and with the worm attempting to crawl off the charts into positive territory, Rudd’s decision looks like a masterstroke that could restore momentum on health, climate, tax and education reform.
    “Verdict:  Rudd the winner.  Abbott probably won the debate but was too punchy and negative,” wrote columnist Mark Kenny in the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper.
    At one stage it seemed political attack and “negativity” was the problem for Abbott, with viewers punishing anything aggressive. But even Rudd’s rare aggressive forays and straying from his favoured facts seemed to go in his direction. “Okay, finished with the worm.  It’s clearly in love with Rudd,” said political radio network journalist Latika Bourke.
    The lesson of the worm seems that surveys aside, Rudd’s stellar popularity may still be as strong as ever.

from MacroScope:

Frustrated Greeks

March 22, 2010

The Greek debt crisis appears to be entering a new phase, in which the country is no longer just waiting to get needed help but getting concerned that others -- including euro zone powerhouse Germany -- may actually be making it hard for them to recover.

China holds Rio trial behind closed doors

March 22, 2010

The trial of four Rio Tinto employees began early on a chilly, gray Monday morning in Shanghai, when four police vans in a convoy led by a cruiser with flashing lights swept the defendants to the courthouse well before 7 am.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

General Kayani in Washington; Pakistan’s most powerful man

March 21, 2010

kayani profileSo much for democracy. When Pakistan holds a "strategic dialogue" with the United States in Washington this week, there is little doubt that the leading player in the Pakistani delegation will be its army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani.

Safe landing? Airliner just had apricot face mask

March 19, 2010

A silhouette is seen on a Mexican flagApricot face masks can hydrate the skin, shrink your pores and strip the paint off  your average Airbus passenger jet.

from Sean Maguire:

Want to make clean money in Nigeria? Trade stocks.

March 18, 2010

A road-side banana seller in troubled city of Jos

A road-side banana seller in troubled city of Jos

One of the global themes that Reuters news editors have picked as a focus this year is 'frontier markets.' These are less developed economies that don't yet qualify as BRIC-style 'emerging markets' but which are gradually opening up to foreign portfolio investment.  Fund managers eager to diversify from lacklustre, recession-battered Western economies are touting such markets as the next big hope for turbocharged returns.

Did the manufacture of your iPhone make someone sick?

March 17, 2010

(Corrects name of author on March 17 and 6:38 p.m. ET)
This story by Kathleen E. McLaughlin is part of an ongoing GlobalPost investigation into the supply chains that make some of your favorite electronic gadgets.  In this installment, GlobalPost examined the fallout after a factory that supplies Apple and Nokia used the toxic solvent n-hexane in violation of local codes and without proper safety equipment. Though seven current and former workers said the chemical was used on Apple touch screens, Apple refused to comment.

Head scratching over EU plans for EMF, helping Greece

March 17, 2010
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn

It was no great surprise that the managing director of the International Monetary Fund looked perplexed when asked during a visit to Brussels to comment on proposals to create a European monetary fund.