Friday, September 30, 2005

Japan May Cut Funds to the UN

Stung by its failure to secure a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, Japan is signaling -- not for the first time -- that it may reduce its sizeable financial contribution to the world body. Read

Bird Flu Pandemic Fears Prompt New Action

Asian health ministers were meeting Friday to discuss ways of combating the spread of bird flu, amid concerns about a possible global human flu pandemic. Read

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Developing Nations Want Internet Brought Under UN Control

The politically charged question of who will control the Internet in the future is dominating preparatory talks ahead of a global Internet summit. At the same time, a controversy over the choice of a host nation for the November gathering has focused attention on autocratic regimes' attempts to clamp down on the medium. Read

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

India's Reversal on Iran Could Carry an Economic Cost

Iran says it will retaliate economically against countries that voted in favor of a resolution critical of its nuclear activities. The threat has particular relevance to energy-hungry India, which unexpectedly swapped sides and took a stand against Iran. Read

Australia to Introduce 'Unpalatable' Counter-Terror Measures

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Wednesday he did not want to introduce "unpalatable" new anti-terror regulations, but the threat faced by the country was real and the government had to act. Read

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

North Korea Views Food Aid as Security Risk

The North Korean government worries about the security implications of having foreigners wandering around the country to monitor emergency food aid, and that's one reason it asked the U.N. to stop the food deliveries, a North Korean political analyst said Tuesday. Read

India's Vote Against Iran Seen as Important Shift

Iran has accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog of acting under American and European pressure, following passage of a resolution critical of its nuclear activities. India's vote in favor of the resolution at the weekend was seen as a particular victory for the U.S.-E.U. position. Read

Monday, September 26, 2005

Taiwanese Marchers Demand US Weapons as Pentagon Warning Resonates

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese marched on Sunday to urge their elected representatives to approve a major arms purchase offered by the Bush administration to help strengthen the island's defenses against China. Read

China Targets 'Unhealthy' Online News Stories

Authorities in China, where at least three journalists have been jailed this year for political "crimes" involving the Internet, clamped down further at the weekend by introducing new regulations for online news services. Read

Friday, September 23, 2005

Anglican Bishops May Be Hurting Iraq Christians, Churchman Warns

An Anglican church leader in Baghdad has warned that Iraqi Christians could be adversely affected by a Church of England bishops' report criticizing the Iraq war and suggesting that Christians apologize to Muslims. Read

Defiant Iran Displays Military Might

Savoring yet another reprieve in its nuclear standoff with the West, Iran has flexed its muscles with a show of military might and a warning that any nation considering attacking the Islamic republic would face a "destructive and fiery" response. Read

Thursday, September 22, 2005

US, EU Face Uphill Struggle in Referring Iran to Security Council

A United States-European drive to have the U.N. nuclear watchdog refer Iran to the Security Council this week looks set to fail -- a situation attributed in part to energy-hungry countries' reluctance to antagonize a major oil producer. Read

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Blunt Warning for Taiwan Over Defense Spending

A Pentagon official has delivered a frank warning to Taiwan about its failure to invest in its own defense against a growing military threat from China, in a speech designed to spur on a long-stalled purchase of U.S. military equipment.. Read

Anglican Bishops Want Christians to Apologize to Muslims for Iraq

Church of England bishops are calling for Christian leaders to apologize publicly, at a gathering attended by senior Muslims, for the war in Iraq. Read

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

China's Abusive Population Policies in the Spotlight Again

Washington's decision to withhold funding for a U.N. agency for the fourth consecutive year because of links to controversial population control practices in China comes at a time when Chinese authorities are trying to focus more attention on incentives rather than punishment for enforcing its "one child" policies. Read

Fissures Appear in North Korean Nuclear Agreement

After two years of talks, North Korea supposedly agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons programs in exchange for incentives, but just hours after the deal was struck it became evident that Kim Jong-il's regime and Washington differ over how the agreement should work. Read

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mixed Fortunes for Conservatives in Weekend Cliffhanger Elections

Weekend elections in two Western democracies ended with results so close that they will undergo a period of political limbo before a final outcome becomes clear. Read

Fast-Food Company to Drop Logo After Muslims Gripe

In the latest example of Western business interests giving in to pressure by offended Muslims, Burger King reportedly has withdrawn an ice cream product after complaints that a label design looks like the Arabic script for "Allah." Read

Post-Election Changes Boost Push for a More Assertive Japan

One week after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won a sweeping election victory, Japan appeared to be moving towards more robust foreign and security policies and away from its war-renouncing constitution. Read

Friday, September 16, 2005

Iran Ready to Transfer Nuclear Know-How to Islamic States

Given Iran's nuclear history and support for terrorism, the United States is particularly concerned about Iran providing nuclear technology to other countries, the State Department said on Thursday. Read

Afghanistan Readies for Next Step Along Path to Democracy

The people of Afghanistan go to the polls this weekend to cement a transition towards full democracy that began when U.S.-led forces set out to topple the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime almost four years ago. Read

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Nuclear Talks Stall Over North Korean Demand

Talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programs continued in Beijing Thursday, with no indication that the isolated communist regime is any closer to agreeing on a deal to end the crisis. Read

Australia Deports American Peace 'Hippy'

An American "peace activist" was kicked out of Australia Thursday after Prime Minister John Howard's government declared him a threat to national security and revoked a six-month tourist visa. Read

US, Indian Leaders Launch Fund for Democracy

A year after President Bush called on the United Nations to create a fund to help promote democracy across the globe, he and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presided Wednesday over the international launch of the new initiative. Read

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

UN Summit Document Won't Define Terrorism

Leaders meeting for the World Summit in New York will be asked to endorse a document that stops short of defining terrorism, but at the same time does not seek to make exceptions for the use of violence during national liberation struggles. Read

Summit to Sidestep Specifics on Overhauling UN Rights Body

Decisions on how to overhaul the United Nation's discredited human rights body -- a crucial element of the broad "reform" effort -- have been deferred because of a failure to reach agreement ahead of the World Summit that begins on Wednesday. Read

US Calls Final UN Summit Document 'Good First Step'

Wrapping up weeks of behind-closed-doors negotiations leading up to the World Summit beginning Wednesday, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the final outcome document was "a good first step" in the process to reform the institution. Read

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Time Running Out on UN Summit Document

With time running out before the United Nations' World Summit, diplomats were battling down to the wire late Monday to overcome significant differences over a key document on reforming the institution and tackling poverty. Read

Monday, September 12, 2005

US Ally Sweeps to Victory in Japan Election

In an outcome welcomed by Washington, Japan's center-right Liberal Democratic Party was returned to power in Sunday's election. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's risky political gamble in calling an early poll over reform plans paid off. Read

India Wants Closer Ties With US - But Also With Iran

As Indian leaders head into this week's U.N. summit and associated meetings, their country's significantly improved ties with Washington are somewhat overshadowed by India's ambivalent stance towards Iran. Read

Friday, September 09, 2005

Jailing of Chinese Journalist: Yahoo's Defense Called Inadequate

Fallout continues over claims that Yahoo provided information that helped Chinese authorities jail a journalist, with a human rights group saying the Internet company's evident defense -- that it had to obey local laws -- doesn't wash. Read

Muslims Unhappy With New Anti-Terror Measures in Australia

In an echo of the current debate raging in Britain, Islamic groups in Australia complain that tough new counter-terrorism laws planned by Canberra will unfairly target Muslims. Read

Muslims Invited to Debate 'Religion of Peace' Claim

A Christian Arab organization in California has invited two leading Muslim figures to publicly debate the question of whether Islam truly is a peaceful religion, but one of Muslims said on Thursday he would not "dignify" the event by taking part. Read

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yahoo Under Fire Over Jailing of Chinese Journalist

Internet giant Yahoo, accused this week of providing information that helped land a Chinese journalist in prison for 10 years, says it had no choice. Read

Clinton Urged to Address Internet Repression in China

Former President Clinton is in China to address an Internet summit amid a new row over Beijing's campaign to control the medium and clamp down on free speech, with the alleged collaboration of Western companies. Read

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Indonesian Muslims Support Embattled Christians

Embattled Christians in Indonesia, facing intimidation and threats from militant Muslims, are getting offers of help from an unexpected source. Read

Iran Trying to Avoid Security Council Referral Over Nukes

Iran is seeking support in its effort to avoid being referred to the U.N. Security Council, after the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog criticized Tehran's refusal to cease nuclear fuel activities. Read

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Chinese President's Debut Visit to US Canceled

Because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Chinese President Hu Jintao has agreed to cancel a scheduled visit to the United States. Analysts say neither Washington nor Beijing was entirely happy about the visit anyway. Read

China-EU Summit Produces No Movement on Arms Embargo

A European Union summit with China has ended with an accord on trade quotas, but no good news for Beijing on the lifting of an E.U. arms embargo. Read

Friday, September 02, 2005

Musharraf Under Fire at Home for Outreach Toward Israel

Opposition parties in Pakistan planned protests Friday in response to their government's decision to hold the country's first acknowledged face-to-face encounter with a representative of Israel. Such a move eventually could lead to the establishment of diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Read

Showdown Looms as Crucial Nuclear Report on Iran Due

The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog is due at the weekend to issue a report on Iran's nuclear activities, which could finally prod the agency to back a U.S. push to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council. Read

Countries Offer Help, Condolences After Katrina

As graphic and disturbing footage of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina fills TV screens around the world, the U.S. government has received numerous messages of condolence as well as offers of assistance from more than 20 countries. Read

Thursday, September 01, 2005

EU May Set Up Hurdles to British Plan to Deport Islamists

Already under fire from United Nations rights officials, Prime Minister Tony Blair this week faces the possibility that the European Union may complicate plans to deport foreign-born radical Islamists who incite terrorism in Britain. Read

China Marks Tibet Anniversary, Critics Decry 'Propaganda'

China Thursday marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of an "autonomous region" in Tibet with upbeat newspaper headlines highlighting economic progress, but rights campaigners dismissed the event as a "propaganda extravaganza." Read