Global News Journal

from Commentaries:

West raises stakes over Iran nuclear programme

By Paul Taylor
September 25, 2009

big-3President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain have deliberately raised the stakes in the confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme by dramatising the disclosure that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant. Their shoulder-to-shoulder statements of resolve, less than a week before Iran opens talks with six major powers in Geneva, raised more questions than they answer.

A world without nuclear weapons: Obama’s pipe dream?

September 24, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants a world without nuclear weapons. But will that ever happen?
    
Obama showed he’s serious this week. He chaired a historic summit meeting of the U.N. Security Council which unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution that envisages “a world without nuclear weapons”.
    
It was the first time a U.S. president chaired a meeting of the Security Council since it was established in 1946.
 
John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, an advocacy group, identified serious weaknesses in the resolution, including the absence of mandatory disarmament steps for the world’s five official nuclear powers — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia.
    
Some diplomats from countries without nuclear weapons said the lack of mandatory disarmament moves is not just a weakness, but a loophole the five big powers — which have permanent seats and vetoes on the Security Council — deliberately inserted into the resolution so that they wouldn’t have to scrap their beloved nuclear arsenals.
 
An official from one of the five big powers appeared to confirm this in an “off-record” email to Reuters explaining the language in the resolution: “I would underline that creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons is not the same as calling for a world free of nuclear weapons.” He added that “the spirit of the resolution is much more about non-proliferation than disarmament.”
    
A diplomat and disarmament expert from a European country with no nuclear weapons said this was typical of the “cynicism” of some permanent Security Council members. He added that the U.S. delegation had made very clear that the use of the word “disarmament” meant total nuclear disarmament — perhaps not today, but someday. 
    
China’s President Hu Jintao said China was not planning to get rid of its nuclear arsenal anytime soon. So did French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
    
The resolution didn’t name Iran and North Korea. However, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Sarkozy filled in the blanks and called for tougher sanctions against Iran for defying U.N. demands to halt sensitive nuclear work.
 
The resolution didn’t mention Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea, the four others known or assumed to have nuclear weapons. But it did politely ask “other states” to sign the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and get rid of their atom bombs.
 
Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was the only leader of a council member state that stayed away from the meeting. Several council diplomats expressed relief at his absence, saying they had been afraid the long-winded Gaddafi would have exceeded the five-minute limit for statements.

Oz PM Rudd gets an “F” for language

September 22, 2009

As the U.S. Congress roils over use of the word “liar” against President Barack Obama, Australia
is in uproar over the prime minister’s use of the F-word.

U.S. Hispanics riled over immigrants’ healthcare exclusion

September 18, 2009

By Tim Gaynor

President Barack Obama’s signature battle to overhaul the United States’ $2.5 trillion healthcare industry to extend coverage and lower costs for Americans has met fierce opposition from Republicans.

from Commentaries:

Shelved missile shield tests NATO unity

By Paul Taylor
September 17, 2009

foghAfter just six weeks as NATO secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has his first crisis. The alliance may be slowly bleeding in an intractable war in Afghanistan, but the immediate cause is the U.S. administration's decision to shelve a planned missile shield due to have been built in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Obama calls German election but Merkel knows he’s got it wrong

August 6, 2009

Barack Obama might have unrivalled expertise about the U.S. electorate. But the American president showed he’s something of a fish out of water when it comes to the complex world of German politics — where the seeming winners sometimes end up losing and the losers can end up in power with the right alliance.

How far would Obama have made it in Germany?

July 30, 2009

What would have happened to Barack Obama if he had been born in Germany?

I had the chance to pose that question to a charismatic young German political leader who is sometimes likened by his supporters to the American President.

Arrivederci Angela! Merkel stops campaign for summer holiday

July 21, 2009

Just imagine the outcry if Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had suddenly gone off on their own separate two-week vacations to, say, Mexico, just two months before the November election? Irresponsible! Reckless! Shirkers! Those and as well as other unprintable terms might be among the comments hurled their way.

Merkel man jumps ship

July 13, 2009

The man who has been so eloquently selling Chancellor Angela Merkel and her policies to the German public as a government spokesman for the last 3 years, 9 months and two weeks has been furloughed.

from The Great Debate UK:

Squandered oil wealth, an African tragedy

July 9, 2009

arvind ganesan-Arvind Ganesan is the Director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. The opinions expressed are his own.-