Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Time to go after the drug money

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Drug violence in Mexico is intensifying even by traffickers’ barbaric standards.

In recent days, heavily armed hitmen launched coordinated attacks on federal police stations in western Mexico and dumped the semi-naked, bloodied bodies of 12 federal agents by a mountain highway, killed two U.S. Mormons in their Mexican community and killed a mayor in a northern ranching town.

A surge of 10,000 troops and federal police in Ciudad Juarez has failed to stop the killings there, which are in fact higher than last year when there were only a handful of soldiers on city streets.

President Felipe Calderon says the violence is a sign the drug gangs are weakening, but with 12,800 drug war deaths since he took office and reports of rights abuses by soldiers, calls are growing for a change of strategy.

from India Insight:

Xinjiang – the spreading arc of instability

China's troubled Xinjiang region shares borders with eight countries, which is perhaps one reason President Hu Jintao dropped out of the G8 summit to head home, underscoring the seriousness of the situation and the need to quickly bring the vast oil-rich region under control.

Xinjiang touches Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, besides the Tibet Autonomous Region.

from Africa News blog:

Will Niger Delta amnesty work?

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has laid out the details of a 60-day amnesty programme for militants and criminals in the Niger Delta. Under the deal, all gunmen who lay down their weapons during a 60-day period ending in October will be immune from prosecution. The offer extends to those currently being prosecuted for militant-related activities, meaning Henry Okah – the suspected leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) – could also walk free if he agrees to renounce the notion of armed struggle.

Several factional leaders – including Ateke Tom, Farah Dagogo, Soboma George and Boyloaf – have said they accept the idea of amnesty in principle but want talks with President Yar’Adua to hammer out the details.

Is Germany at ‘war’ in Afghanistan? Defence Minister says ‘no’

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Germany’s defence minister gets his tongue in a twist every time he tries to explain why the German army is not in a “war” in Afghanistan, even though more and more German soldiers are coming home in coffins.

“If we were to speak of ‘war’ then we would only be focusing on the military aspect in the region and that would be a mistake,” Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said after three more German soldiers were killed on Tuesday, raising the total to 35.

Iraq six years on — waving hello or goodbye?

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By Aws Qusay

BAGHDAD – When U.S. bombs rained on Baghdad in 2003, rocking the ground beneath me, I would never have imagined U.S. soldiers would later join my family for a birthday party.

In fact, I and most Iraqis could not believe Saddam Hussein was really on his way out six years ago. Even after his statue was toppled in Firdos Square, many believed his real plan  to eject the Americans would come, and that the easy invasion was really an ambush. In the end it kind of was, though not of Saddam’s doing.

from Africa News blog:

Sign of change in Zimbabwe?

President Robert Mugabe joined the mourning for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife on Tuesday and called on Zimbabweans to end violence and support his old rival to help rebuild the country.

The death of Susan Tsvangirai in a road crash in which her husband was also injured has, at least on the surface, brought about a show of unity between Zimbabwe’s bitterest foes that might never have looked possible.

Twittering from the front-lines

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Who remembers the Google Wars website that was doing the viral rounds a few years back – a mildly amusing, non-scientific snapshot of the search-driven, internet world we live in?

It lives on at www.googlebattle.com where you can enter two search terms, say ‘Lennon vs. McCartney’ or ‘Left vs. Right’, and let the internet pick a winner by the number of search hits each word gets.

from Africa News blog:

Which way will Somalia go?

The withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia has left a nation beset by conflict for nearly two decades at a crossroads.

Ethiopia invaded to oust Islamists from the capital, but insurgents still control much of southern Somalia and more hardline groups that worry Washington have flourished during the two-year intervention.

Euphoria at Saddam’s fall becomes a sigh

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I still remember what my father-in-law told me that fateful day in 2003, as we sat riveted by the sight of American soldiers on television pulling down the iconic statue of Saddam Hussein from its pedestal in a Baghdad square.

My father-in-law, whose brother had fled Iraq after being jailed for a few days after Baathists took the power in 1969 and who was never a Saddam supporter, was reflective.

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