Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Best reads of February

Photo

Exotic animals trapped in net of Mexican drug trade - From the live snakes that smugglers stuff with packets of cocaine to the white tigers drug lords keep as exotic pets, rare animals are being increasingly sucked into Mexico’s deadly narcotics trade.

End of an era for the Amazon’s turbulent priests - They avoid taking buses, make sure friends know their schedules, and rarely go out when it’s dark. For the three foreign-born Roman Catholic bishops under death threat in Brazil’s northeastern state of Para, speaking out against social ills that plague this often-lawless area at the Amazon River’s mouth has come at a price.

West risks repeating Soviet mistakes in Afghanistan - The foreign warplanes swooped in just as the Afghan village of Ali Mardan was celebrating a wedding. Bombs slammed into the crowded village square, killing 30 men, women and children. After the smoke cleared and the dead were buried, all the able-bodied men left alive took up arms against the invaders. That was 1982…

Drought starts to bite in northern Kenya - Clouds of dust rising above the harsh scrub herald the arrival of more livestock at a borehole in northeastern Kenya, the end for some of a 45 km (28 mile) trek for water that must be repeated every few days. Drought is starting to bite into east Africa’s biggest economy and the government says 10 million people may face hunger and starvation.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

The scramble for Central Asia

Photo

Central Asia is much in demand these days, whether as a transit route for U.S. and NATO supplies to Afghanistan as an alternative to Pakistan or for its rich resources, including oil and gas.

So it's worth noting that India has been hosting Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev as its guest of honour at its Republic Day celebrations while signing a bunch of trade deals in the process. According to reports in the Indian media, including in the Business Standardthe Week and the Times of India,  India is seeking supplies of uranium for its nuclear plants and access to Kazakhstan's oil and gas and in return would be expected to support Kakazhstan's bid for membership of the World Trade Organisation. (India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said on Saturday it had signed a deal to explore for oil and gas in Kazakhstan.)

Big Bang experiment – the end of the world as we know it?

Photo

Scientists said they simply didn’t know what surprises might emerge when they started up the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest and most complex machine which until Wednesday lay benignly in its underground home on the outskirts of Geneva. 
                                                    Scientists look at a computer screen at the control centre of the CERN in Geneva September 10, 2008. Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) started up a huge particle-smashing machine on Wednesday, aiming to re-enact the conditions of the “Big Bang” that created the universe. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool (SWITZERLAND)                                                        
Perhaps crashing together millions of particles at close to the speed of light would replicate the conditions just after the Big Bang that created the universe.           

Perhaps the high-energy collisions, which will generate temperatures more than 100,000 times than the heart
of the sun, would lay to rest an unproven theory of physics.

Gaddafi – No longer “Mad Dog” of Middle East

Photo

Libyan leader Gaddafi listens to a speaker at the African Union summitOnce called the “mad dog of the Middle East” by President Ronald Reagan, Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi will meet U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week.

Senior State Department official David Welch told reporters he had met Gaddafi — “a person of personality and experience” — several times. 

Can the Caucasus flames be controlled?

Photo

ossetia.jpgThe Caucasus tinderbox is alight again. How far will the flames spread this time and what can the outside world – the United States, the European Union, NATO – do to extinguish them?

The strategic significance of this mountainous region stretches back through history.

Enter the new farmers

Photo

Wheat field in RomaniaWhat’s with farming these days? The humble, even if slightly romantic vocation, is attracting a new breed of participants as investing in farmland and agriculture becomes the latest fad in the world of investments.
 
With financial markets in tumoil and commodity prices at record highs, traditional financial players such as investment banks and hedge funds, and even sovereign wealth funds of cash-rich emerging economies are increasingly looking at farm land as the next major investment avenue.

The motivations are varied — from pure financial punting to concerns about food security. Underlying all this is the belief that the rapid economic expansion of China and India could add more than a billion people between them to the ranks of consumers of meat and wheat-based products. And then there is the growing demand for land to grow crops for biofuels.

  •