Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Islamist militants imposing a strict form of Islamic law are knocking on the doors of Somalia’s capital, the country’s president fears his government could collapse — and now pirates have seized a super-tanker laden with crude oil heading to the United States from Saudi Arabia.
Chaos, conflict and humanitarian crises in Somalia are hardly new. It’s a poor, dry nation where a million people live as refugees and 10,000 civilians have been killed in the Islamist-led insurgency of the last two years. A fledgling peace process looks fragile. Any hopes an international peacekeeping force will soon come to the rescue of a country that has become the epitome of anarchic violence are optimistic, at best.
But besides causing instability in the Horn of Africa, the turmoil onshore is spilling into the busy waters of the Gulf of Aden. The European Union and NATO have beefed up patrols of this key trade route linking Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal as more and more ships fall prey to piracy. Attacks off the coast of east Africa also threaten vital food aid deliveries to Somalia.
As insurance premiums for ships rocket and carriers start taking the long route from Asia to Europe around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid attack, the cost of manufactured goods and commodities such as oil is likely to rise — all at a time of global economic uncertainty and looming recession in major industrialised countries.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
Pakistan has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $7.6 billion emergency loan to stave off a balance of payments crisis.
Shaukat Tarin, economic adviser to the prime minister, said the IMF had endorsed Pakistan's own strategy to bring about structural adjustments. The agreement is expected to encourage other potential donors, who are gathering in Abu Dhabi on Monday for a "Friends of Pakistan" conference.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
Will Israel and India -- the first the United States' closest ally and the second fast becoming one of the closest -- emerge as the trickiest adversaries in any attempt by the United States to seek a regional solution to Afghanistan?
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama plans to explore a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan — including possible talks with Iran.
By Juliana Rincón Parra
Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content of this post — the views are the author’s alone.
Frontera Filmmakers is social networking website based in San Diego, California that unites video producers from both sides of the USA-Mexico border. Its members share links to more than two dozen films and trailers related to border politics and culture.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s quip about Barack Obama’s permanent “suntan” almost certainly wasn’t intended to offend. But now he’s battling accusations of racism.
Clearly, race is a delicate issue. And for those who have covered Berlusconi over the years, it’s easy to understand how such a gaffe prone leader would stumble — spectacularly — on such a sensitive subject.
Posted by Andrei Makhovsky and Salah Sarrar
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi found they had plenty in common when they met in
Minsk this week.
Both their countries have started to come in from the cold after years of
international isolation and sanctions that were imposed on their
countries because of their policies.
They also share a vision of a multi-polar world to
counterbalance U.S. influence.
According to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors al Qaeda-linked propaganda on the Web and translates it for the benefit of security analysts and counter-terrorism officials, the militant chat rooms have been buzzing for weeks with excited comment.
With the West reeling from the financial crisis and pulling back some of its investment in Africa, could China step into the breach and expand its footprint on the continent - a presence that already worries Western powers?
On the face of it, China, which is relatively unscathed by the crisis, has a golden opportunity to exploit Western disarray and increase its financial and political penetration of the continent. Already there are signs that Africans are starting to look away from the West and towards other emerging markets, especially China, as they watch the banking chaos in the traditional capitalist markets.
The European Union has come under sharp criticism for having a fragmented approach to the financial crisis. It is exemplified by Ireland’s go-it-alone decision to guarantee all accounts and Germany’s surprise announcement after a meeting of leading members that it was taking unilateral action too.
Relief, then, that the 27 member states issued a statement on Monday that they would do what it takes to bolster citizens’ savings and build financial stability. Only problem was, they could not coordinate the announcement. First Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi released it, then Portugal. Only after a while did French President Nicholas Sarkozy weigh in. He does head the current EU presidency after all.