Home > News > News in Brief: 6 April 2009

News in Brief: 6 April 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

All roads lead to Pakistan. Top United States officials are in Pakistan to discuss ways to increase their participation in tackling al-Qaeda and militants. The militants are increasing their activities, now targeting the capital Islamabad and Punjab, the largest province. Pakistan is clearly emerging as a new war theater; there will be heavy costs for all sides. (Asia Times)

Obama’s agenda in Turkey: Iran, Israel and terrorism. U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Monday to rebuild ties with Turkey, a Muslim country with growing clout whose help Washington needs to solve
confrontations from Iran to Afghanistan. (Haaretz)

North Korea launches rocket, defies pressure. North Korea’s rocket launch unleashes a great controversy across the world with leaders evaluating the move as a threat to the security of nations which will pave the way for the isolation of the defiant nation. (Hurriyet)

Obama on nuclear weapons: text of speech. The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. No nuclear war was fought between the United States and the Soviet Union, but generations lived with the knowledge that their world could be erased in a single flash of light. Cities like Prague that had existed for centuries would have ceased to exist. Today, the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those weapons have not. In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. (Seattle Times)

China gets assertive as US ties grow. Last week’s meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama ended with the expected commitment to bilateral economic cooperation, but what was notable was China’s demonstration of increased confidence. Cooperation in areas like the military, however, continues to lag in the face of mutual suspicions. (Asia Times)

State Dept. inspector releases Iraq oil report. The Bush administration’s prerogatives for Iraq’s oil evolved from an interest in private investment to ensuring any oil deals signed didn’t harm reconciliation between rival Iraqi leaders, a new report by the State Department’s Inspector General finds. The report, released Tuesday in response to a July 2008 query by four key U.S. senators, looked into U.S. policies and actions related to the federal Iraqi government’s negotiations with major oil companies as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) oil deals with Dallas-based Hunt Oil. (Iraq Oil Report)

What local elections mean for Turkey. Consider the odd plight of Turkey’s premier, Tayyip Erdogan – or Teflon Tayyip as he may come to be known. Turkey, just like the rest of the world, is feeling the economic chill with GDP shrinking in the last quarter of 2008 by 6.2%. Yet Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) party still put in a credible performance at nationwide local elections on 29 March. Though it slipped several percentage points in voters’ esteem, its share of the vote for provincial assemblies was roughly equal to that… (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Siniora urges Lebanon unity gov’t with no veto power. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called on Sunday for the formation of a unity government after a June legislative election but said any minority in the new parliament should not be granted veto power in cabinet. (Reuters)

Motorola drops bomb fuse unit following boycott campaign. Motorola has sold a controversial unit that produced bomb fuses and other equipment for the Israeli military, according to the Israeli financial newspaper Globes. The sale rids Motorola of some activities that had made it the target of a growing boycott in the US and worldwide. (Electronic Intifada)

South African prosecutors drop Zuma corruption charges. South African prosecutors have dropped corruption charges against ruling party leader Jacob Zuma, who is expected to become president, ending a long legal battle that had raised doubts over his ability to govern. (The Independent)

Rival Czech parties agree on new caretaker government. Rival Czech leaders have agreed on a new caretaker premier, Czech Statistics Office chief Jan Fischer, whose interim government would complete the country’s presidency of the EU, reports said, citing official sources. (Deutsce Welle)

Ukrainian City Turns Off Water To Help Pay Electric Bills. The Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod is facing serious reductions of its water supply. The water to the city is switched off for several hours every day. (RFE/RL)

Series of Baghdad Car Bombs Kills at Least 32. A series of six car bombs struck markets, a police convoy and a gaggle of workers in Shiite Muslim neighborhoods Monday, killing 32 people and wounding more than 120 in one of the most violent days in the capital in months. (Washington Post)

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