Friday, June 30, 2006

Another Arab State Edges Towards Full Democracy

Women in Kuwait voted and ran for office for the first time on Thursday, a development seen as pushing the Middle East another step closer to full participatory democracy. Read

Australian Gitmo Suspect Must Still Stand Trial in USA, PM Says

A lawyer representing an Australian terror suspect held at Guantanamo Bay hopes Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on military tribunals will lead to a change in the Australian government's stance, but Prime Minister John Howard still wants the suspect tried in a U.S. court. Read

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Same-Sex Issue Splits Church

The head of the worldwide Anglican Church has laid out a proposal aimed at keeping the fractious denomination together by means of a two-tier structure of conservatives and liberals, but a leading conservative archbishop says the church is already divided. Read

Contender for Next Japanese PM Is Hawkish on N Korea, China

As Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi began his last official visit to Washington Thursday, the race to succeed him as leader of America's closest Asian ally looked increasingly likely to go to a conservative politician with hawkish views on North Korea and China. Read

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Key Indo-US Nuclear Cooperation Deal Edges Ahead

India is closely watching developments this week on Capitol Hill, where a crucial bilateral nuclear cooperation deal jumped its first major hurdle Tuesday and faces a second test within days. Read

Pakistan Agrees to Increase Troop Numbers

During a visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Pakistan announced it would deploy up to 10,000 more soldiers along its borders with Afghanistan, where two-way terrorist infiltration has fueled ongoing instability and soured relations between the two U.S. allies. Read

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Study Seen to Support 'Born Gay' Theory

A new study on homosexuality is being used to back up the contention that sexual orientation is determined in the womb and not by sociological factors. Read

Missile Defense Cooperation Advances Amid North Korean Threat

The possibility that North Korea may test-launch a long-range missile is underscoring the significance of Japan's decision to collaborate with -- and seek protection under -- the U.S. ballistic missile defense shield. Read

Monday, June 26, 2006

Little Reason for Optimism on New Human Rights Council

The opening days of the inaugural two-week session of the U.N. Human Rights Council have done little to allay concerns that the new body will be hampered by some of the same approaches and biases that doomed its predecessor. Read

Chavez Plans to Meet With North Korea's Kim Jong-il

Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-U.S. president of Venezuela who is seeking a seat on the U.N. Security Council while establishing close ties with such rogue states as Cuba and Iran, is now planning a meeting with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Read

Friday, June 23, 2006

Split Looms as African Bishops Decry US Church's Stance

Declaring themselves "saddened" by the U.S. Episcopal Church's stance on homosexuality, conservative leaders in Africa appeared Thursday to be preparing for a rupture in one of the world's largest Christian denominations. Read

Australian PM Holds Line on Embryonic Cloning

In a victory for pro-life advocates, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced Friday that his government would not lift a ban on the cloning of human embryos for research. Read

Friday, June 09, 2006

Islamist Triumph in Mogadishu Worries Security Experts

Thirteen years after U.S. troops were withdrawn under fire from Mogadishu, security and political analysts worry that the emergence of a victorious Islamist militia in the anarchic Somali capital may be setting the scene for a new, dangerous phase in the war against Islamic terrorists. Read

Asian Security Bloc on the Defensive Over Iran

Ahead of a major summit next week, a China-Russia-Central Asia security bloc has defended its developing ties with Iran, while stressing that it does not see itself as an Asian counterpart to NATO. Read

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Calls for More Nuclear Energy Rejected by Greens

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has launched an in-depth inquiry into whether his country should embrace nuclear power. Despite the argument that nuclear energy is a "clean" alternative to fossil fuels, environmental activists are unimpressed. Read

Got Him: 'Zarqawi is Dead'

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, has been killed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki announced at a press conference on Iraqi state television shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday Washington time. Read

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Indonesia's Commitment to Anti-Terror Fight Faces Test

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has welcomed the restoration of U.S.-Indonesia military ties, but the Southeast Asian country's commitment to combating terrorism will be under new scrutiny within days when a leading terrorist is due to be freed from prison. Read

Australian Gov't Shuts Down Bid for Same-Sex Unions

As the U.S. Senate debates a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, Australia's federal government has won praise and drawn flak for overriding a lower authority's legislation permitting same-sex couples to enter civil unions. Read

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Islamists Claim Control of War-Ravaged Mogadishu

Islamists committed to implementing shari'a law in Somalia claim to have defeated warlords in Mogadishu after months of fighting in a country wracked by anarchy since 1991. Read

US Knew About Arafat's Key Role in Diplomats' Murders

The U.S. government was aware from the outset of Yasser Arafat's hand in the 1973 murder of two American diplomats in Sudan, according to a formerly secret document released Monday by the State Department. Read

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rumsfeld Urges China to Be More Open About Military Expansion

A year after charging that China's defense spending was threatening Asia's military balance, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld returned to the subject at the weekend but using a new approach - urging China to end the secrecy surrounding its military buildup for its own good. Read

Bishop Warns Same-Sex Unions Carry Eternal Cost

The crisis within the world's 77 million-strong Anglican (Episcopalian) Church over homosexuality goes beyond an issue of human sexuality, to the far deeper questions of the authority of scripture and eternal salvation, a leading conservative bishop has warned. Read

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ethnic Upheaval Boosts Calls to Oust Iranian Regime

Ethnic unrest continues in parts of Iran, prompting some exiled members of Iranian minorities to step up calls for a concerted effort to topple the clerical regime. Read

Japan's Demographic Woes Worsen

Despite incentives to reverse the trend, Japan's relentless population problems continue unabated, with new figures showing the country's fast-declining fertility rate has reached a new record low. Read

Thursday, June 01, 2006

US About-Face on Talks With Iran Draws Mixed Reactions

Washington's policy reversal on Iran's nuclear activity has been warmly welcomed by its European Union allies, but it's also drawing criticism from conservatives who warned that it may be a mistake. Read

Conservatives Enjoy Landslide in Korea

South Korea's liberal ruling party has suffered a stunning defeat in nationwide local elections, and that could have implications for the government's sensitive policy of engagement with its Stalinist northern neighbor. Read