Wednesday, March 30, 2005

North Korean Rights Abuses, Public Execution, Under Spotlight

The situation in North Korea takes center stage this week at the U.N. Commission for Human Rights meeting in Geneva, where campaigners plan to screen secretly filmed footage of a recent public execution in the Stalinist state. Read

Monday, March 28, 2005

Controversial Chinese Law Prompts Mass Protest in Taiwan

In what local reports described as the largest demonstration of its kind in Taiwan's history, Taiwanese took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday to protest a new Chinese law permitting the use of force against the island. Read

Chirac Remains Determined to Lift EU Embargo on Arms Sales to China

While visiting Japan, French President Jacques Chirac has defended his push to lift a European Union arms embargo on China, disagreeing with his hosts on an issue that has contributed to diplomatic tensions between Japan and China. Read

Experimentation on Embryos to Continue Despite 'Adult' Stem Cell Breakthrough

Australian scientists will be allowed to harvest stem cells from human embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment despite recent breakthroughs in research using alternative and non-controversial sources for the cells. Read

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Former Chess Champion Fischer Evades US Justice

Japan freed Bobby Fischer on Thursday and allowed him to fly out of the country, hours after the State Department reiterated that it wanted the former world chess champion handed over to face criminal charges in the U.S. Read

Nuclear Power Set for Comeback, to Greens' Dismay

Nuclear power looks set to make a comeback as energy-hungry nations look for alternative sources of supply. Environmentalists are skeptical, however, despite claims that reliance on nuclear energy will combat climate change -- a key concern of green activists. Read

Opposition Takeover in Kyrgyzstan Focuses Attention on Big Power Rivalry

Kyrgyzstan faced an uncertain future late Thursday, after a day of high drama saw protestors seize the seat of government, the president flee the country, the Supreme Court annul recent election results, and lawmakers name a new interim leader Read

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hopes and Fears Evident as Nations Mull Rival Security Council Proposals

United Nations member states are beginning to line up behind one of two proposals by Secretary-General Kofi Annan for reforming the Security Council, their choices illustrating their hopes and concerns about the makeup of an expanded future body. Read

Calls for More Flexibility on North Korea 'Wearing Thin in US'

Calls by China and South Korea for the United States to be more "flexible" in its response to the North Korean nuclear crisis are wearing thin in Washington, a leading regional analyst said Wednesday. Read

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rice Hints at Sanctions if North Korea Doesn't Return to Talks

Condoleezza Rice has ended her first Asian trip as Secretary of State, hinting that North Korea could face sanctions if it refuses to return to multiparty talks on its nuclear programs. Read

Europe May Hold Back on Plan to Lift China Arms Embargo

Amid indications that the European Union is reconsidering plans to lift an arms embargo on China within months, Beijing has urged the union to push ahead with the plan, while the U.S. said it would welcome an E.U. reversal. Read

Monday, March 21, 2005

Rice Attends Church in Country Where Religious Freedom is Relentlessly Restricted

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended a Palm Sunday service in Beijing, at a Protestant church permitted to operate by a government accused of violating freedom of religion. Read

Arms Embargo, Anti-Taiwan Law Key Topics as Rice Visits China

Chinese leaders are fending off U.S. criticism about a controversial new law allowing force against Taiwan, even as the British government admitted the law is complicating European Union efforts to lift a 16-year-old arms embargo against Beijing. Read

Friday, March 18, 2005

US Won't Introduce Motion Censuring China at UN Rights Meeting

Human rights campaigners reacted with dismay Friday to news that the U.S. will not introduce a resolution sanctioning China for widespread abuses at this year's U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva. Read

Focus on Rights Abusers as UN Rights Body Meets in Geneva

The U.N. Commission on Human Rights' annual session is underway in Geneva, where the U.S. and other members are expected to press for improvements to a body whose credibility has been increasingly called into question. Read

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Don't Let Vietnam Get Away with Religious Persecution, Urge Campaigners

Vietnamese rights groups expressed concern Wednesday that Vietnam's government may be able to dodge sanctions by offering "token" gestures and making empty commitments to improve religious freedom. Read

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Terrorists Threaten Revenge After Leaders Killed in Prison Uprising

An al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in the Philippines has vowed to avenge the deaths of three of its leaders, who were among 22 detainees killed Tuesday as government forces ended a 29-hour uprising in a maximum security prison. Read

US, Allies Not Disturbed by Italy's Proposed Pullout from Iraq

The U.S. and key allies are downplaying news that Italy could begin a phased withdrawal of its troops from Iraq next fall. They note that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has linked the move to the Iraqi government having adequate security. Read

Monday, March 14, 2005

US Accuses China of Violating Obligations to North Korean Refugees

China is violating at least four articles of the international convention on refugees in the way it is handling North Koreans who have fled their impoverished, Stalinist homeland, according to the State Department. Read