Home > News > News in Brief: 27 November 2009

News in Brief: 27 November 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

‘The Geographic Gap’. Of 237 countries and territories in the world, the 4 largest newsgathering and distribution companies that supply the world with 90% of news do not cover 116 of them. These 116 countries or territories contain 4 billion people over half the world. 63 of these media-ignored countries and territories are desperately poor. (Informed Comment)

U.S. followed own timetable on Iraq war: UK envoy. The United States followed its own military timetable for the 2003 invasion of Iraq rather than allowing diplomacy to run its full course, the former British ambassador to the United Nations said on Friday. (Reuters)

Dubai debt crisis triggers Wall Street sell off. The Dow Jones opened down more than 200 points as Dubai’s debt problems triggered a sell off by nervous US investors. (Telegraph)

Abbas stresses that he will not run for a second term. From Chile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated that he will not run the upcoming Palestinian Presidential elections, however he will stay in his post until these elections which were not fixed yet are held. (Alsumaria)

New Gaza air strike ‘kills one’. The Israeli military has carried out an air strike on the Gaza Strip, targeting what it said were Palestinian militants preparing to fire rockets into Israel. (BBC)

IAEA censures Iran over atomic site. The UN nuclear watchdog’s governing body has voted overwhelmingly to censure Iran for developing a uranium enrichment site in secret, and has demanded it freeze the project immediately. The resolution, the first against Tehran in almost four years, was passed by a 25-3 margin, with six abstentions, by the 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. (Al Jazeera)

Pakistan: Nawaz calls for inquiries into all corruption cases. Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that inquiries must be made into all corruption charges and must not be limited to the NRO beneficiaries alone. (Dawn)

Governor of Afghanistan’s Kandahar survives attack. The governor of Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province survived a bomb strike on his motorcade while heading to prayers for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on Friday, a spokesman said. The bomb shattered a window of the car that Governor Tooryalai Wesa was travelling in, but he was unhurt, spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said. One bodyguard was lightly wounded, Reuters reported. (Dawn)

The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: A Hardened, Networked National Guard. A formal request worth up to $5.8 billion was made in July 2006. When DID talked to GDLS in October 2007, they said that negotiations were underway, and they expected to complete a deal some time in 2008, but it took until November 2009 before it was followed with a contract. (Defense Industry Daily)

Postcard From…Tawang. The inhabitants of the remote frontier town of Tawang, in the Himalayan foothills in the northeastern Indian region bordering Chinese-administered Tibet, have lived under many flags. Anyone over the age of 62 can tell the stories of four different empires: British, Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian. During the 1962 war, Chinese troops briefly occupied what is today known as the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Today, India administers the area, though China hasn’t completely renounced its claims. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

The tangle of the Taliban. Much has been written about the Afghan insurgency in the mainstream media, but little about the insurgents. The popular impression that the Kabul government and its international allies are battling a monolithic Taliban organisation, which calls itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, belies a much more complicated reality. The Taliban does have a central leadership, which is popularly known as the Quetta Shura and consists of a 10-man council, all old friends of Mullah Mohammed Omar. This tight-knit group has considerable influence over the insurgency in the southern provinces, but there are many other anti-government elements such as criminal gangs and feuding clans… (Guardian)

Report: Shalit deal on verge of completion. Fox News reported Friday that a deal aimed at securing the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit was close to completion, and that it will likely be carried out next week. Shalit was captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006 and has been held in captivity for over three years. Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, have demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel in exchange for Shalit’s freedom. (Haaretz)

European Union Names New Leadership. The European Commission’s new 27-person line-up included Olli Rehn of Finland in a key role overseeing monetary affairs. Europe’s big member states on Friday scooped the most sought-after positions in a new European Commission that is expected to press for more regulation in key areas such as financial services. Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister who was most recently agriculture minister, won the sensitive job of regulating the EU’s internal market — including financial services — despite fears from some in Britain that a French appointee may take decisions that could threaten the City of London. (New York Times)

Iran, China agree on $6.5b refinery project. The Chinese refiner Sinopec has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company to invest $6.5 billion for building oil refineries in Iran. It is predicted that the two sides will close the deal in the next two months, the Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday without stating further details on where and when the agreement was signed. (Tehran Times)

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