Paul's Feed
Apr 30, 2013

New database focuses on China’s secretive aid to Africa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic development researchers on Monday unveiled a database of China’s aid to Africa in an effort to work around Beijing’s secrecy about the numbers, as a debate rages over the intentions and impact of Chinese assistance.

The study and database by the Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, a research project, includes 1,673 Chinese development finance projects worth $75 billion in 50 African countries from the years 2000-2011.

Apr 25, 2013

North Korea’s epic drama: stage now set for next act

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric threatening the United States and South Korea with nuclear war was aimed at dragging Washington to the negotiating table, it has likely failed.

Pyongyang may once again feel it needs to up the ante.

Two months of shrill threats following the North’s nuclear test in February appeared at times to drag the Korean peninsula close to war as its young leader celebrated a year in power with a fusillade of verbal aggression that has now died down.

Apr 25, 2013

Analysis: North Korea’s epic drama: stage now set for next act

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric threatening the United States and South Korea with nuclear war was aimed at dragging Washington to the negotiating table, it has likely failed.

Pyongyang may once again feel it needs to up the ante.

Two months of shrill threats following the North’s nuclear test in February appeared at times to drag the Korean peninsula close to war as its young leader celebrated a year in power with a fusillade of verbal aggression that has now died down.

Apr 19, 2013

G20 backs off austerity drive, rejects hard debt cut targets

By Leika Kihara and Paul Eckert

(Reuters) – Finance leaders of the G20 economies on Friday edged away from a long-running drive toward government austerity in rich nations, rejecting the idea of setting hard targets for reducing national debt in a sign of worries over a sluggish global recovery.

The G20 club of advanced and emerging economies also said it would be watching for negative effects from massive monetary stimulus, such as Japan’s – a nod to concerns of developing nations that those policies risk flooding their economies with hot capital and driving up their currencies.

Apr 17, 2013

U.S. holds back recognition for Venezuela’s Maduro

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – The United States held back
recognition of leftist President-elect Nicolas Maduro and called
on the Venezuelan government on Wednesday to respect the right
of free assembly after violence at opposition protests over a
disputed election.

The razor-thin weekend election victory by Maduro, the
chosen successor of the late socialist President Hugo Chavez,
has been rejected by his rival, Henrique Capriles, who is
alleging voting irregularities and calling for an audit of the
ballots. Seven people have been killed in opposition-led
protests.

Apr 10, 2013

In bitter irony for China, N.Korea furthers U.S. strategic goals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nobody but Kim Jong-un knows what he hopes to achieve with his saber-rattling campaign, but the young North Korean leader probably didn’t set out to aid the United States, the sworn enemy of three generations of Kims, at the expense of his country’s main ally, China.

In a boon for U.S. policy that can only add to China’s frustration with Kim, North Korean bellicosity has helped reinforce an American strategy of rebalancing its security policies toward the Asia-Pacific region.

Apr 10, 2013

Analysis: In bitter irony for China, North Korea furthers U.S. strategic goals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nobody but Kim Jong-un knows what he hopes to achieve with his saber-rattling campaign, but the young North Korean leader probably didn’t set out to aid the United States, the sworn enemy of three generations of Kims, at the expense of his country’s main ally, China.

In a boon for U.S. policy that can only add to China’s frustration with Kim, North Korean bellicosity has helped reinforce an American strategy of rebalancing its security policies toward the Asia-Pacific region.

Mar 10, 2013

U.S., allies use U.N. rights panel to pressure defiant North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are applying a new form of pressure on North Korea, already facing a tightening ring of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests: tougher U.N. censure of Pyongyang’s human rights record.

In a move human rights advocates say is long overdue, the European Union and Japan are circulating a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva calling for a formal commission of inquiry into North Korea’s record.

Mar 8, 2013

USAID optimistic on Myanmar work, but firm on terms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is intensifying its aid work in Myanmar, winning more cooperation from the government in a country long estranged from Washington, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah said on Thursday.

The USAID chief unveiled three projects in the country, also called Burma, under a “U.S.-Burma Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity” launched by President Barack Obama when he visited Myanmar last November.

Mar 8, 2013

Behind North Korea bluster, a record of troubling actions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s blood-curdling war threats are often dismissed as the kind of over-the-top rhetoric the world expects from the reclusive and eccentric leadership in Pyongyang, now in its third generation under Kim Jong-un.

But while the latest threat to launch a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” on the United States is believed by experts to be beyond North Korea’s technical capacities, and would be suicidal, history shows there can be bite behind Pyongyang’s bark.