Home > News > News in Brief: 2 April 2009

News in Brief: 2 April 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

G20 agrees $1,000bn to fight crisis. World leaders agreed to “fight back” against the global recession with $1000bn in funding for the International Monetary Fund and for international trade finance, but did not agree a new round of fiscal stimulus. (FT)

Medvedev Resurrects Replacing Dollar as Reserve Currency. Russia’s president, Dmitri Medvedev, suggested starting a new basket of strong regional currencies to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. (New York Times)

Lieberman discards Annapolis declaration. Israel’s new foreign minister angered Palestinians and raised the prospect of tensions with Washington by saying Wednesday that Israel was not bound by a deal to start negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state.On his first day at the Foreign Ministry. (The Daily Star)
China secures Myanmar energy route. China has secured an important alternative route for its Middle East oil supplies, bypassing the Malacca Strait, with an agreement with Myanmar to pump oil and gas from the Bay of Bengal to Yunnan province. The energy coup, while benefiting Myanmar’s generals, will doubtless upset India. (Asia Times)

NATO at 60: Time for a new strategic concept. On the 4th of April NATO will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its birth. At their summit meeting in Strasburg and Kehl, heads of state and government of the allied nations will do more than merely celebrate NATO’s 60th birthday; they will also make important decisions about the alliance’s future. (Hurriyet)

An Overview of Media Development and Post-Conflict Transition. The role media play in conflict resolution on a theoretical level is also quite clear. Groups deeply involved in conflict are rarely as monolithic and unified behind continued fighting as their leaderships would have us believe. The fractures and fissures of rival parties form splinters that can rearrange into new alliances that represent, if not exactly ever a middle ground, then at least new ground, where pro-resolution sentiments become possible. But the internal complexity of a group involved in a conflict is unlikely to emerge in a completely polarised media environment. (ICG)

Kyrgyzstan: Russia Set to Take Major Stake in Kyrgyz Torpedo Plant. The April 1 announcement that Russia has transferred $150 million to Kyrgyzstan has thrust the geopolitical competition between Moscow and Washington back into the news. Many experts in Bishkek and elsewhere believe the Kremlin promise of aid for President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s ailing administration was responsible for the Kyrgyz government issuing an eviction order to US forces stationed at the Manas air base outside of Bishkek. (Eurasianet)

The end of Arab summits? Does the puzzling failure of the Doha Arab summit signal the demise of Arab summitry? That’s a question which is being batted around the Arab media over the last few days in the wake of the baffling early conclusion of the summit in Qatar and its failure to address any of the urgent issues facing the Arab world. Will the Doha summit go down in history as the swan song of Arab summitry? (Marc Lynch)

Palestinian FM: Abbas government to stay on until unity deal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s government, which resigned last month, will stay on until the formation of a new government, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said on Thursday. (Haaretz)

Iran looks through Obama’s poker face. While much has been made about the “new season of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington, many in Iran point to crippling United States-backed sanctions and call any reported thaw in relations hugely premature. The US wants it both ways – to gang up on Iran at the United Nations, while seeking its help in resolving increasingly dangerous regional issues, starting with Afghanistan. (Asia Times)

Doctors to reopen Arafat investigation. Arab doctors to review information about ‘strange death’ of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat Arab doctors are to investigate the death of the former Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, re-opening a four-year-old case which is still the subject of suspicion, conspiracy theories and political accusations. (Guardian)

Iraq: New U.S. Security Contractor. The State Department said Wednesday that Triple Canopy, a Virginia-based firm, would take over security work from the company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide. (New York Times)

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