Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Some nations who once criticised Mohamed ElBaradei over his approach to Iran’s disputed nuclear programme joined a roomful of effusive tributes to the outgoing chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Thursday.
But Israel, ElBaradei’s most public and caustic critic, left its seat empty to sidestep the succession of delegations hailing the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, participants in the closed-door meeting said.
The IAEA’s multinational board of governors presented ElBaradei, 67, with a silver platter, approved a resolution declaring him “Director-General Emeritus” for after he retires on November 30, and gave him a standing ovation.
He was moved to tears of appreciation.
The tall, slightly stooped IAEA chief said he felt “humbled and grateful” and picked up on his cherished theme of international cooperation to solve conflicts, poverty, disease and other iniquities of the world.
At his penultimate meeting with governors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog before he steps down in November, Mohamed ElBaradei gave diplomats a reminder of the colourful prose and no-nonsense authority they may soon miss.
A veteran of the long-running dispute between the West and Iran over its contentious nuclear programme, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency urged the 35-nation governing body to “put (your) heads together to break the logjam,” on the same day that Tehran submitted a package of proposals to foreign powers.
– Tom Abate covers the technology sector for GlobalPost, where this article first appeared. The views are his own. —
When Iranian protesters used internet services like Twitter to gain global attention they also reminded the world that oppressive regimes continue to buy or build technologies to enforce censorship.
But fears that Germany might end up “smelling like a banana republic”, as Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper columnist Kurt Kister wrote, or be mentioned in the same breath as Iran if it ends up tampering with the law so close to the Sept. 27 ballot has helped kill the intriguing idea for the time being. There is also a tacit angst running through Merkel’s conservative CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, that they could end up throwing away a possible victory once again (a 21-point lead melted to 1-point win in 2005) for their preferred centre-right coalition with the Free Democrats by changing the law now.
from Tabassum Zakaria:
That was President Barack Obama's response to a video showing the death of Neda, a young woman who has come to symbolize the uprising against the Iranian government.
The video shows the woman, identified as Neda Agha Soltan, on the ground after apparently being shot, blood streaming over her face as she dies.
Insiders say Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was rather reticent and stiff in public when he took the job in 1997. He’d spent decades below the radar in Egypt’s foreign service, U.S. academia and the U.N. nuclear watchdog as head of the legal and external relations divisions.
But Mohamed ElBaradei evolved into a politically outspoken tribune for international peace and fair play.
Media outlets covering the street demonstrations in Iran have devoted plenty of coverage to the so-called "Twitter Revolution" and the role social networking Web sites like Facebook have played in circulating photos and video taken by protesters using cell phones.
But several of the Farsi-language satellite TV and radio stations based in Southern California, with its population of as many as 500,000 residents of Iranian heritage, also have become a bulwark of opposition to Iran's controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his disputed re-election last Friday.
In addition to our Iran full coverage page on Reuters.com, we’re posting links to our stories on the Twitter account Reuters_Iran and in the live headline box below. We’ll also selectively re-publish tweets from Iran and other sources that illuminate events in the country.
Note: Reuters coverage is now subject to an Iranian ban on foreign media leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.
Although the U.N.’s racism conference in Geneva has been dominated by Middle East politics, Palestinian rights groups say Palestinians have effectively been silenced.On the one hand tough rules by the conference organisers prevented Palestinian NGOs from holding “side events”, they say. On the other hand Monday’s controversial speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, slamming Israel as a “totally racist government” founded “on the pretext of Jewish suffering”, has distracted attention from the issues that actually affect Palestinians.
“One thing that we have noticed in this conference is that there has been a concerted effort to silence the voices of the Palestinian presence and raising the Palestinian issue,” said Wisam Ahmad of Al-Haq, a Ramallah-based advocacy group.