Home > News > News in Brief: 26 September 2007

News in Brief: 26 September 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Inflation creeping back into world markets. More precisely, globalization – or the integration of two billion more people into the world economy since the early 1990s – is clawing back some of the benefits it gave Europe and the United States over the past decade, and higher prices are an increasingly likely result. China’s emergence in the early 1990s as the low-cost workshop of the world furnished global markets with an endless supply of cheap goods, creating stiff competition that kept down prices everywhere. For a time, that effect more than offset costs for raw materials, notably oil, which also began to rise as China, India and other emerging economies began to develop. (International Herald Tribune)

Myanmar troops pen monks in monasteries. Troops and riot police took up positions outside at least six big activist monasteries in Yangon on Wednesday as Myanmar’s junta tried to prevent monks leading new protest marches against military rule, witnesses said. There was no immediate word from the monks on whether they would risk their first major confrontation with the junta by trying to march again despite fears of a repetition of the bloody end to a 1988 uprising, primarily in the Sule Pagoda area. (Reuters)

Syria willing to transfer disputed Shaba Farms to UN custody. Syria is willing to transfer the Shaba Farms to the custody of the United Nations as part of an effort to resolve the sovereignty dispute over the area, which is currently under Israel’s control. Israeli political sources said Tuesday that Syria’s offer is meant to put pressure on Jerusalem, which opposes any withdrawal from Shaba at this stage. (Haaretz)

Bhutto pitch for power urges US to see her as best ally against terror. Benazir Bhutto, the exiled former leader of Pakistan, yesterday tried to persuade a Democratic-controlled Congress to support her return to power by arguing that she would be a more effective ally against al-Qaida than the country’s military leader. (Guardian)

Thailand intensifies crackdown on militants. After prolonged waffling, the Thai government is bringing the hammer down on the Muslim separatist insurgency in Thailand’s four southern provinces. Some wonder, however, if it is all a public relations exercise to allay growing public frustration over the authorities’ lackluster performance. (Asia Times)

Dozen anti-Bush protesters are arrested near UN. About a dozen anti-war protesters were arrested Tuesday during a demonstration against U.S. President George W. Bush’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly. The arrestees were among about 400 people opposing the Bush administration’s war in Iraq, and its incarceration in Guantanamo Bay of more than 300 men on suspicion of terrorism or links to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Many in the crowd wore orange jumpsuits in solidarity with the Guantanamo detainees. (Toronto Star)

A political standoff tests Afghan leaders. In May, the lower house of the Afghan Parliament voted overwhelmingly to remove the country’s foreign minister on the grounds of incompetence. And more than four months after the vote, much to the anger of the parliamentary majority, the minister remains in his post, protected by the man who appointed him: President Hamid Karzai. (International Herald Tribune)

US House tightens sanctions against Iran. The US House of Representatives brushed aside lobbying from European governments and opposition from the Bush administration on Tuesday to back a tough Iran sanctions bill that would punish energy companies investing in the country. (FT)

Turkish military warns AKP on secularism, U.S. on Iraq. Turkish Land Forces Commander General Ilker Basbug has issued a stern warning to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) not to attempt to change the current interpretation of secularism in the country and bluntly told the United States that it is time to take action against the camps belonging to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. (Eurasia Daily Monitor)

Wrecking ball slams into disgruntled Chinese’ quest for justice. Day by day, hour by hour, the desperate citizens of Beijing’s “village of the damned” wait for demolition crews to raze the warren of alleyways that is their temporary home in the capital. The area flanking Beijing’s South Railway Station is the city’s hub for thousands of petitioners — Chinese from far-flung provinces who seek redress for government or private enterprise abuses. But with a key Communist Party congress around the corner and city fathers eager to beautify Beijing before the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, authorities want to level the blighted zone in the name of urban renewal. (McClatchy)

Chile: Mega Dams, Mega Impacts, Mega Half-Truths. An organisation in the Aysén region in the south of Chile which opposes the building of five hydroelectric stations on two large rivers has made a documentary film about the reactions of communities affected by dams and power lines in Chile and Argentina. The dams and power stations are projected to be built from 2009 onwards, with an investment of close to 2.5 billion dollars. (IPS)

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