Home > News > News in Brief: 19 February 2009

News in Brief: 19 February 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Food Crisis Under the Spotlight. Worldwide demand for food is expected to grow steadily over the next 40 years, but 25 percent of the world’s food production may be lost to ‘environmental breakdowns’ by 2050 unless urgent action is taken. (IPS)

Balochis intensify rebellion in Iran. The conflict between Iranian security forces and ethnic Baloch insurgents led by the Jundullah (Soldiers of God) – an obscure militant group also known as the People’s Resistance Movement of Iran – that has been raging in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan since 2003 is experiencing an increase in hostilities. (Asia Times)

Hamas Offered a Bullet to Bite. Israel’s outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert is risking a crisis of confidence with Egypt by insisting that a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas precede any Egyptian-mediated ceasefire arrangement to end the Gaza war. (IPS)

Netanyahu Wins Key Backing in Israeli Election. Thursday after he won the conditional backing of a kingpin politician who heads a far-right party. Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, recommended to President Shimon Peres that he tap Netanyahu to form a government, on condition the right-wing Likud chief pursued a broad coalition. Netanyahu has said he would do so. (New York Times)

International criticism mounts over Sharia deal. International pressure against the pact signed with Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi for introduction of Shariah in parts of NWFP mounted on Tuesday with Britain leading the chorus as it warned Pakistan’s government ‘against creating further space for violence’. (Dawn)

Lebanese in Shock Over Arrest of an Accused Spy. For 25 years, Ali al-Jarrah managed to live on both sides of the bitterest divide running through this region. To friends and neighbors, he was an earnest supporter of the Palestinian cause, an affable, white-haired family man who worked as an administrator at a nearby school. To Israel, he appears to have been a valued spy, sending reports and taking clandestine photographs of Palestinian groups and Hezbollah since 1983. (New York Times)

Iran’s security concerns weigh heavy. The idea of a “grand bargain” between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program hinges on Washington offering Tehran a guarantee of no regime change and respect for its borders. The Iranian leaders, however, have increasingly pressing concerns over the deteriorating situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This presents a disquieting picture that operates against maintaining Iran’s nuclear potential latent. (Asia Times)

Kyrgyzstan: Tracking Russia’s Assistance Package to Bishkek. The Kyrgyz government’s efforts to close down an American air base outside Bishkek have been well documented. The same cannot be said for Russia’s $2.15 billion assistance package, which many experts believe was offered on the condition that US forces be forced to leave the Central Asian nation. Questions remain whether the Russian assistance deal will ever be fully implement. (EurasiaNet)

Kyrgyzstan parliament approves U.S. military base closure. Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted Thursday to close a key U.S. air base in the country – a move that could hamper President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (Hurriyet)

Tajikistan: Dushanbe on the Edge of Instability — Report. International attention may be focused currently on Kyrgyzstan, where the drama over the American air base is playing out, but the spotlight in Central Asia really deserves to shine on Tajikistan, according to a report prepared by the International Crisis Group. Tajikistan is a potential disaster waiting to happen, the report contends. (EurasiaNet)

Tajikistan: Top US Military Official Explores Transit Options for Afghanistan. A senior official from US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has begun a five-day visit to Tajikistan, Russian media outlets are reporting. (EurasiaNet)

Afghan boy among a dozen killed by US strike. US forces killed at least one child, video footage obtained by Reuters on Wednesday showed, in an air strike in western Afghanistan that police say killed 12 civilians and US forces said killed 16 militants. (Today’s Zaman)

U.S. Commander Says Troop Level of 60,000 Is Needed for at Least Three to Four Years. “This is not a temporary force uplift,” McKiernan said at a Pentagon news conference. “For the next three to four years, I think we’re going to need to stay heavily committed and sustain in a sustained manner in Afghanistan.” McKiernan said violence is likely to escalate in Afghanistan as fresh troops expand into insurgent-held areas where the military has little or no presence. “When we do put additional security forces, I would expect to see a temporary time where the level of violence might go up,” he said. (Washington Post)

India’s nuclear submarine plan surfaces. Along with announcing a dramatic increase in its defense budget, India has revealed that a secretive project to build three nuclear submarines is nearing completion. As tensions with Pakistan remain high and China’s naval presence expands, the subs are part of New Delhi’s plans to beef up security by completing nuclear-launch capabilities on land, air and sea. (Asia Times)

Western Media Representations, Iran, and Orientalist Stereotypes. Orientalism describes the various schools of thought and methods of investigation through which Europe came to know ‘the East.’ According to scholars such as Edward Said, it was and still is through this discourse and its construction of knowledge that the West has been able to legitimize and maintain its hold over the uncivilized ‘Other.’ (Conflicts Forum)

Sunni party member gunned down in Baghdad. Gunmen in a car shot dead an official of a Sunni Arab party in front of his Baghdad home on Wednesday, a colleague in the Iraqi Islamic Party said. Samir Safwat, a 55-year-old trade ministry employee, was gunned down in the southern district of Zafraniyah, said MP Omar Abdel Sattar, adding that the assailants fled. (Dawn)

Trial of Bush-targeted shoe throwing Iraqi journalist postponed. The judge adjourned on Thursday the trial of an Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush until next month. (Hurriyet)

Obama Hoping to Reinforce U.S. Trade Relationship With Canada. President Barack Obama will leave today for Canada — his first foreign trip as president — where he is expected to discuss trade and the environment with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Washington Post)

Globalization, Global History and Local Identity in “Greater China”. (Japan Focus)

Categories: News
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: