Home > News > News in Brief: 18 March 2009

News in Brief: 18 March 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

The Afghanistan seldom seen. Beyond Taliban attacks and the opium trade, there is another side to Afghanistan that is rarely reported. From the Uzbek border in the north to the deep south, there’s a hidden world of stunning contrasts; of beauty and poverty, of young women getting educations and musicians playing what couldn’t be heard under the Taliban. These are forgotten areas, untouched by the billions of reconstruction dollars that have poured into the nation. (Asia Times)

Karzai warns leaders not to meddle. The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, today warned the international community not to meddle in the government of his country as it prepares to go to the polls for presidential elections this summer. Speaking alongside the Nato secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at a news conference in Kabul, Karzai said the government’s foreign partners should respect his country’s independence. (Guardian)

The Tipping Point? $165 million, of course, is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total amount of bailout money given to AIG in one form or another. Yet it may turn out to be the $165 million that broke the camel’s back. (Economist’s View)

Chance to Reform IMF in EU-US Split? Differences between the United States and Europe over how to restore global economic growth have given rise to speculations here on whether a failure to agree on a grand strategy at the upcoming G20 summit might create room for China to assert its national agenda. (IPS)

Assad: Olmert agreed to give up all of the Golan. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to withdraw from all of the Golan Heights during indirect peace talks with Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. (Haaretz / Reuters)

Bringing India’s foreign policy home. India’s famed “cart before the horse” economic policy has spilled over into the arenas of foreign policy and defense, dominated by improving relations with the United States and Europe while facing up to China. But New Delhi’s focus abroad has been at the expense of its security, as the country faces increased instability in its own backyard. (Asia Times)

India’s Fighter Modernization: Add MiG-29s to the List. Deliveries on that $600+ million program continue; meanwhile the delivery date for the winning aircraft in India’s forthcoming light-medium fighter tender remains up in the air, and India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) program has been beset by numerous problems and ongoing delays. (Defense Industry Daily)

Attack stops traffic on Nato supply line in Pakistan. Two men on a motorcycle threw a bomb at a truck carrying an excavating machine to Nato troops in Afghanistan, halting traffic Wednesday along a supply route through Pakistan’s southwest, officials said. (Gulf News)

Pakistan dismisses report US could widen covert war. Pakistan dismissed as speculation a US newspaper report on Wednesday that Washington is considering whether to expand its covert war in Pakistan beyond tribal areas on the Afghan border. (Khaleej Times / AFP)

Madagascar’s army transfers power to opposition leader. Madagascar’s highest court has confirmed Andry Rajoelina as acting president. Rajoelina led the opposition campaign to oust former leader Marc Ravalomanana, who agreed to resign on Tuesday after pressure from the military. (Deutsche Welle)

Iraqi President Talabani hopeful PKK terrorists will lay down arms. The Turkish foreign minister said Wednesday that the country’s existing laws include articles to facilitate an amnesty for PKK terrorists, a day after the Iraqi president made a call to Ankara regarding the issue. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Tuesday a general amnesty for the members of the PKK could be a solution to end the violence created by the terror organization. (Hurriyet)

Will the Economic Crisis Destabilize Tajikistan? The end of Russia’s building boom could cause more problems on Afghanistan’s borders. (Slate)

Iran: The Language We Use and the Price We Pay. Indiscreet diplomatic remarks may be as harmful as sanctions. (Iranian Diplomacy)

Russia waiting to carry out Iran arms contract. Russia will decide whether to deliver sophisticated S-300 air defence systems to Iran based on the ‘international situation,’ a government source was quoted as saying on Wednesday. (Khaleej Times / AFP)

Again, Armenian genocide resolution confronts a president. perennial political battle over an Armenian genocide resolution is joined again, as lawmakers Tuesday introduced a symbolic measure that puts President Barack Obama in a bind. (McClatchy)

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