Monday, July 31, 2006

Hizballah, Nasrallah Heroes to Many Arabs

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah's popularity is growing across the Middle East, with many Arabs setting aside religious and other differences to embrace him as an Islamic hero who has taken on a reviled Israeli enemy. Read

Australia Mulls US Request to Provide Troops for Lebanon Mission

Australia is considering a U.S. request to contribute troops to a multinational stabilization mission in Lebanon, and on Monday, it will join discussions at the U.N. on the possible makeup of such a force. Read

Friday, July 28, 2006

North Korea Skips Chance to Talk About Nukes

North Korea on Friday rejected an opportunity to meet with the U.S. and four other countries involved in talks about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programs. Read

International Divisions Deepen Over Lebanon

Divisions in the international community over the Israeli-Hizballah conflict are widening, as the United States finds itself increasingly under fire for supporting Israel. Read

Thursday, July 27, 2006

South Korea Eyes UN Secretary-General Post

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon leads a U.N. Security Council straw poll of declared candidates for U.N. secretary-general. But critics say his reluctance to speak out against North Korean human rights abuses does not bode well, should he succeed Kofi Annan. Read

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Int'l Force in Lebanon Must Avoid Past Mistakes, Analysts Warn

As the international community considers the possibility of a peacekeeping or stabilization force for Lebanon, political and security analysts are recalling previous such initiatives, and they say it's essential that any new force be equipped with the right mandate. Read

Countries Mull Providing Troops for Mideast Mission

As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins representatives of some 20 other countries in Rome Wednesday to discuss the Israeli-Hizballah conflict, the possibility of deploying an international force -- whether under NATO, the European Union or the U.N. -- is expected to be near the top of the agenda. Read

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pakistan Nuclear Claims Viewed Skeptically in India

A report claiming that Pakistan is planning to expand its arsenal of atomic bombs is making headlines, but in India it's being viewed as part of a push by the non-proliferation lobby to derail the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation pact. Read

Embryonic Research Funding May Lure US Scientists to Europe

Britain's science minister has predicted that top U.S. scientists "disillusioned" over President Bush's veto of a bill to expand federal funding for human embryo experiments may move to Europe, where funding for the controversial work won approval on Monday. Read

Monday, July 24, 2006

SE Asian Muslims Say They Will Join Hizballah's Fight

Muslims in Southeast Asia are protesting Israel's offensive against Hizballah, and in Indonesia, Islamists reportedly were registering as "volunteers" to travel to the region to fight against the Jewish state. Read

Europe Won't Call Hizballah Terrorists

Despite growing international awareness about the dangers posed to Mideast stability by Hizballah, the European Union has yet to outlaw the group or move to block its funding. Read

Friday, July 21, 2006

China, Russia Again Apply Brakes on UN Steps Against Iran

A week after agreeing with their U.N. Security Council colleagues to act against Iran's nuclear activities, Russia and China are once again working to slow down efforts to do so. Read

'Axis of Evil' Pair Suspected of Missile Collaboration

Drawing a link between the two surviving members of what President Bush has called "the axis of evil," the U.S. said Thursday that Iran may have sent observers to witness North Korea's ballistic missile tests early this month. Read

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Religious Persecution: Saudis Get Another Reprieve

The Bush administration has decided to extend a waiver that frees it from imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia for religious persecution, although religious freedom advocates say the kingdom has done little to improve the situation. Read

Asia Meeting May Provide Chance for North Korea Talks

An upcoming security gathering in Asia could provide the first opportunity in 10 months for representatives of all six countries involved in the North Korean nuclear negotiations to get together -- but only if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice doesn't skip the meeting because of the Mideast crisis. Read

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Saudis Blame Israel

Amid a campaign for Arabs' hearts and minds over the fighting in Lebanon and Israel, the government of Saudi Arabia has made it clear that it holds Israel responsible for the conflict. Read

Opponent of Forced Abortions Faces Trial in China

China is preparing to put on trial this week a blind activist who helped to draw attention to forced sterilization of Chinese parents and the abortions of babies conceived in violation of the official "one-child" policy. Read

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hizballah Wants Israel to Free Child-Killer

The Arab prisoner that Hizballah wants Israel to release in exchange for two abducted Israeli soldiers, is serving multiple life sentences for killing a four-year-old girl with a rifle butt. Read

Japan Mulls Financial Sanctions Against North Korea

Fresh from its success in pushing the U.N. Security Council towards a binding resolution condemning Pyongyang's ballistic missile tests, an increasingly assertive Japan is now preparing to impose its own economic sanctions on North Korea. Read

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rare Show of Unity as Big Powers Chastise North Korea

In a double blow for North Korea over the weekend, the U.N. Security Council and then the world's eight top industrialized countries condemned the reclusive Stalinist regime for carrying out a series of missile tests two weeks ago. Read

G8 Leaders Agree on Condemning Hizballah

President Bush and his allies succeeded in getting G8 leaders to issue a joint statement blaming the Israel-Lebanon conflict on "extremist forces" and saying that Israel had the right to defend itself. But they were unable to win agreement on naming Iran and Syria as key contributors to the crisis. Read

Splits Emerge Among Arab Gov'ts Over Hizballah

The war in Lebanon is exposing rifts in the Arab-Islamic world, as governments facing internal demands to take a stronger stand against Israel differ over Hizballah's role in the crisis. Read

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hizballah: Iran's Tool

The Iranian-created and funded organization at the center of the unfolding conflict between Israel and Lebanon is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world, responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other group apart from al-Qaeda. Read

Israel Considers Hizballah TV Station Legitimate Target

Media rights campaigners have criticized Israel for firing missiles at a Beirut-based television station, but Israel and other critics say the broadcaster serves a function far more dangerous than disseminating news. Read

Thursday, July 13, 2006

China, Russia Inch Toward Tougher Line on Iran

China and Russia have for the first time agreed to back a legally binding U.N. Security Council resolution compelling Iran to suspend its nuclear activities, but they show no sign of doing the same in the case of North Korea. Read

Australian PM Howard in No Hurry to Retire

One of President Bush's closest allies is facing escalating pressure to signal his intention to retire, but he indicated on Thursday that he is in no hurry. Read

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

India Suspects Pakistan-Based Terrorists in Deadly Bombings

Indian intelligence specialists are investigating whether a series of deadly bombings in Mumbai (Bombay) Tuesday were the work of an al-Qaeda-affiliated, Pakistan-based terrorist group. Read

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

China Offers Alternative, Non-Binding North Korea Resolution

Backed by Russia, China has drafted a U.N. Security Council resolution in response to North Korea's recent missile tests that is milder than one the U.S. and its allies are supporting. Read

North Korea, Iran May Dominate Russia's G8 Summit

Russia, hosting the Group of Eight leaders' summit for the first time, wants that summit to focus on energy, education and infectious diseases, but North Korea and Iran look set to dominate the agenda in St. Petersburg this weekend. On both counts, Russia is at odds with its G8 partners. Read

Monday, July 10, 2006

Japan Praised for Stance on North Korea

As the U.N. Security Council moves towards voting on a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its recent missile tests, hopes for a unified international response appear to be fading fast. Read

Missile Tests Highlight Gap Between South Korea, Japan

North Korea's missile tests have highlighted differences between the way Japan and South Korea view the Stalinist state, and also appears to be affecting relations between the two U.S. allies. Read

Friday, July 07, 2006

As Mexican Conservative Wins, Leftist Calls Supporters Out

Refusing to concede defeat in Mexico's presidential election, left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is calling his supporters to stage a mass protest in the capital on Saturday. Read

Like Predecessor, UN's New Rights Body Targets Israel

Following a trend adopted by its discredited predecessor, the U.N.'s new Human Rights Council ended its first-ever "special session" Thursday with a resolution condemning Israel over the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Read

Thursday, July 06, 2006

North Korea's Allies Resist Action in Security Council

Moves to punish North Korea for firing a series of missiles are, as expected, running into hurdles in the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China are loathe to consider the imposition of sanctions -- or even a council resolution. Read

South Korea Ponders Three-Way Message of Missile Tests

North Korea's missile tests this week were evidently aimed at sending the signal that it could threaten the United States, Japan and South Korea, according to analysis in South Korea, where the government's position on its northern neighbor is again under fire. Read

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

North Korea Deepens Crisis With July Fourth Missile Tests

After weeks of keeping the world guessing about its intentions, North Korea chose America's Independence Day to test fire a volley of missiles, ignoring international calls for restraint and stoking up tensions across the region. Read