Home > News > News in Brief: 30 November 2009

News in Brief: 30 November 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

UK Diplomat, Says US Was ‘Hell Bent’ On Iraq Invasion. The United States was “hell bent” on a 2003 military invasion of Iraq and actively undermined efforts by Britain to win international authorization for the war, a former British diplomat told an inquiry Friday. Jeremy Greenstock, British ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, said that President George W. Bush had no real interest in attempts to agree on a U.N. resolution to provide explicit backing for the conflict. (The Huffington Post)

Mideast: UN chief renews call for Palestinian state. United Nations’ secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep concern over stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He also stressed the importance of creating the right conditions so that the two sides have sufficient trust in each other to return to the negotiating table. (AKI)

Palestinian power play heats up. Speculation is growing that Israel will free Marwan Barghouti, the most popular Palestinian leader since Yasser Arafat, in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Barghouti would almost certainly win elections to fill the vacuum created by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ imminent departure, which is why many in the Fatah and Hamas camps would rather see him remain in jail. (Asia Times)

Pakistan: ‘Zardari-Haqqani tapes against Army revealed’. A military spy agency recorded a conversation between President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s Ambassador in US Husain Haqqani discussing the Kerry Lugar Bill and the recordings captured the two discussing how to strengthen democratic institutions in Pakistan. This has been disclosed in a report published in McClatchy, the US newspaper group owned by The Miami Herald. The recording was disclosed by military sources without giving any names but the implication was that the two were discussing how to weaken the hold of the military in Pakistani policies. (The News)

Talks ongoing to defuse Iraq poll law crisis. Talks are ongoing to reach a compromise on the election law. Yet, statements have manifested in a deadlock. (Alsumaria)

Somali priates hijack oil tanker. Somali pirates have seized an oil tanker, with 28 crew members on board, in the waters around East Africa. (Al Jazeera)

Iranian Navy will fight piracy off coast of Somalia. The commander of the Iranian Navy says that the country’s naval forces will even chase Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, if necessary. (PressTV)

Herat enjoys a gold rush. Afghanistan is increasingly recognized as rich in mineral resources, which lie largely untapped due to dismal security and the absence of a strong government. That leaves the door open for intrepid individuals with an eye for what they hope is gold and the willingness to wield basic mining tools. (Asia Times)

US offers Pakistan enhanced military, economic support. US President Barack Obama has offered Pakistan an expanded strategic partnership, including additional military and economic cooperation. The offer, contained in a letter, was delivered to President Asif Ali Zardari by National Security Adviser James Jones. (Dawn)

Iran defies censure, plans 10 uranium sites. Iran sees little point to staying in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a senior official said on Monday, a day after announcing plans to build 10 more nuclear sites in a swipe at growing pressure to rein in atomic activity. (Reuters)

‘Russia assures Iran on missile delivery’. Russia has assured Iran it will honour a deal to supply the Islamic Republic with advanced S-300 air-defence missiles, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow said on Friday. (The News)

Dubai and sell. Last week world stock markets tanked on news of Dubai World’s debt standstill (a delightful euphemism for default). Risk trades from commodities to the Australian dollar were jettisoned as investors reached for the safety of bonds and the yen. Global fundamentals, however, have not changed from Wednesday. Dubai’s woes may dent the odd bank, but aggregate corporate earnings will barely be affected. Consumers around the world could not care less. Nor does trouble in the Gulf affect other influential themes of the day such as western public and private sector indebtedness, or growth in China. So why the panic? There are sensible explanations. (FT)

EU pushes for stronger yuan. European officials on Sunday failed to persuade Beijing to begin strengthening its currency, despite “frank” talks between top officials ahead of Monday’s EU-China summit in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. (CNN / FT)

Indian police arrest politician in huge fraud probe. Indian police Monday arrested a regional politician suspected of embezzling up to 650 million dollars during his five years in ministerial posts in an impoverished eastern state, officials said. (Dawn)

BURMA: Nobel Laureate Stiglitz to Advise Junta on Poverty. The list of high-profile foreigners heading to Burma to engage and advise the country’s military regime is about to get longer. The latest due to join that flow is Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz. (IPS)

LEBANON: Skewed Policies Widen Urban-Rural Divide. he luxury brands and fashion powerhouses that line the streets of the Lebanese capital seem to suggest that this country is enjoying an hour of glory as the world is in the throes of a severe recession. Reality is different. Away from downtown’s glittery sidewalks, people live in abject poverty, begging on the streets throughout the country’s main cities. (IPS)

YEMEN: Agencies battle with minors seeking new life in Gulf. The rising number of minors fleeing the Horn of Africa is becoming a challenge for the UN and aid organizations, as the number of new arrivals in Yemen reached record highs this year. Some of their parents died either while fleeing to Yemen or upon arrival; others were orphaned in their home countries and migrated in the hope of finding better opportunities in Yemen, but the vast majority hope to be smuggled to Saudi Arabia or other wealthy Gulf states to find work opportunities, according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) officials. (IRIN)

AECOM Gets 6-Month Extension to Iraqi Security Forces Maintenance Contract. AECOM Government Services in Fort Worth, TX received a $20.1 million sole source, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide vehicle maintenance, night vision device maintenance, and training services to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) at various sites within Iraq. (Defense Industry Daily)

Categories: News
  1. shaun
    November 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    an article on The Mantle argues that one good thing coming out of the Somali pirate issue is an unprecedented level of cooperation amongst countries to combat piracy.


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