Home > News > News in Brief: 2 July 2007

News in Brief: 2 July 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Kurdish Leader Warns of Iraqi Civil War. The leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region warned Tuesday of a “real civil war” if the central government does not implement a constitutional clause on the future of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city claimed by the Kurds. (The Indian Express)

Turkey To Name New Navy, Air Force Commanders. Turkey’s top military council began a four-day annual meeting Aug. 1 to decide on the new commanders of the navy and air force and other promotions and retirements in the armed forces. The council’s yearly meeting is chaired by the prime minister and is attended by the defense minister. Its decisions, which are subject to presidential approval, are irreversible and cannot be appealed. (Defense News)

US and Palestinians sign $80m deal. The US Secretary of State has met with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in Ramallah and signed an agreement granting the Palestinians $80 million for reform of their security services. (Al Jazeera)

UN resolution seeks to expand role in Iraq. Britain and the US are pushing for a greater UN role in Iraq, despite the organisation’s reluctance to deepen its mission because of security fears. (Guardian)

S. Korean Envoys to Meet With Taliban. South Korean and Afghan officials searched for a meeting place Thursday after agreeing to hold face-to-face talks with the Taliban to seek the release of the remaining 21 South Korean captives, a chief negotiator said. (AP)

Japan: Abe Government Rocked by More Scandals. Newly revealed office expense scandals are rocking the Abe Cabinet. Agriculture Minister Akagi Norihiko allegedly reported expenditures on a non-existent office, and the recent issue of Akahata Sunday Edition revealed that Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa reported office expenses that are unaccounted for. (Political Affairs)

Japan’s agriculture minister resigns. Norihiko Akagi, who is accused of financial irregularities, offered his resignation and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accepted it. (BBC)

UK anti-terror chief ‘misled’ public. A senior UK anti-terror officer misled the public after the shooting of a Brazilian man, a report finds. (BBC)

Australia To Move On Uranium Sales To India Soon. Australia will decide soon whether to lift a ban on uranium sales to India, a reversal of its policy of selling only to signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, India’s foreign minister said July 31. (Defense News)

UN Peacekeeping Role Evolving in Haiti. When U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes his first visit here Wednesday, he’ll find a U.N. force evolving from a military to a policing role that officials say is crucial to keeping the peace while this impoverished Caribbean country rebuilds. (The Indian Express)

Venezuela and Argentina Deepen Industrial Integration. Delegations from Venezuela and Argentina met last week to discuss new cooperative projects between the countries. With the intention of creating authentic industrial development and technology transfer, representatives from the Argentinean National Institute of Technology (INTA) met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last week to converse about the construction of new factories in Venezuela for the production of a variety of industrial goods. (Venezuelanalysis)

Mugabe’s decree on prices puts Zimbabwe economy in a tailspin. Robert Mugabe has ruled over this benighted country, his every wish endorsed by Parliament and implemented by the police and military, for more than 27 years. It appears, however, that not even an unchallenged autocrat can repeal the laws of supply and demand. One month after Mugabe decreed just that, commanding merchants nationwide to counter 10,000-percent-a-year hyperinflation by slashing prices by half and more, Zimbabwe’s economy is at a halt. (International Herald Tribune)

Slaving away for Uncle Sam. The Bush administration faces disturbing reports that Kuwaiti contractors building the new US mega-embassy in Baghdad are constructing it on the backs of near-slave workers, some of whom had no idea they were bound for Iraq. (Asia Times)

MP warns economic policies driving Iraq to brink of collapse. Former Iraqi Planning and Cooperation Minister and current MP Mehdi Hafedh warned Wednesday that the current economic policies being implemented in Iraq are “not viable and are pushing the country further toward the brink of total collapse.” He also said that Iraq’s “dependence on oil is not sustainable,” and called for the diversification of economic activity to other sectors. (Daily Star)

China’s Leaders Make Show of Unity. Past and present Chinese leaders appeared together on army day Wednesday, celebrating the founding of the People’s Liberation Army in a striking show of unity ahead of a key Communist Party congress later this year. (The Indian Express)

China jails 31 people over slave scandal. A policeman and a social security worker were among 31 people jailed for their roles in a Chinese slave scandal, state press reported Thursday, bringing the total number of convictions to 60. (Khaleej Times/AFP)

ASEAN Assumes Migrant Rights Duties. Rights of migrant workers have been strengthened with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) foreign ministers approving two documents at a recent meeting of the regional grouping in the Philippines capital. (IPS)

U.S., Saudi Arabia have drifted apart. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates failed to bridge differences with Saudi Arabia Wednesday in a growing public dispute over allegations of Saudi support for insurgents in Iraq. Instead, the talks revealed how far the onetime close allies have drifted apart. (McClatchy)

Bush Alters Rules for CIA Interrogations. President Bush breathed new life into the CIA’s terror interrogation program Friday in an executive order that would allow harsh questioning of suspects, limited in public only by a vaguely worded ban on cruel and inhuman treatment. (truthout/AP)

Bush invokes executive privilege for Rove in attorney firings. Ratcheting up the stakes in a legal battle with Congress, President Bush on Wednesday ordered White House adviser Karl Rove and a senior political aide to refuse on grounds of executive privilege to testify before the Senate on the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. (McClatchy)

Jordan Islamists win seats in polls. Opposition Islamists in Jordan have won four seats in the country’s first-ever elections for city mayors, despite withdrawing midway through the race citing fraud. (Al Jazeera)

Pepsi Forced to Admit It’s Bottling Tap Water. The soft drink giant Pepsi has been forced to make an embarrassing admission: Its bestselling Aquafina bottled water is nothing more than tap water. Last week, Pepsi agreed to change the labels of Aquafina to indicate the water comes from a public water source. (AlterNet/Democracy Now!)

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