Thursday, August 31, 2006

Freed Australian Terror Suspect Banned From Contacting Bin Laden

An Australian terror suspect and convert to Islam has been ordered by the government not to contact al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but a federal magistrate said Thursday that the order was "farcical." Read

Significant Adult Stem Cell Advance Drew Modest Attention

In contrast to the excitement generated by a U.S. company's claims to have created "ethical" embryonic stem cells (ESCs), relatively little interest met a Japanese finding that "adult" stem cells from mice can be reprogrammed to closely resemble ESCs -- a potential breakthrough in a field that is roiling politics in the U.S. and elsewhere. Read

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

'Expel Sudan from the UN'

Sudan should be suspended from the United Nations and eventually expelled if it continues to defy U.N. resolutions and international human rights law with its abuses in Darfur, a non-governmental organization said Tuesday. Read

China Uneasy About Sanctions Against Iran, Says They'll Hurt West

With the U.N. Security Council's deadline for Iran's nuclear activities looming, China is warning the Western powers not to impose sanctions against Tehran. Read

Monday, August 28, 2006

Chavez Lobbying Hard for Security Council Seat

Bolstered by the support of a second permanent U.N. Security Council member, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday took his campaign to win a seat on the council to Malaysia. He faces strong opposition from the United States. Read

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chinese Court Jails Activist Who Exposed Abortion Abuse

A Chinese court has jailed a legal advocate who drew attention to forced abortions occurring under the country's controversial "one child" policy, after convicting him on public order offenses. Read

BBC's Child Protection Policy Nowhere in Sight As Boy Posed Near Bomb

BBC journalists took photographs of a young Lebanese boy made to pose near an exploded bomb, despite the broadcaster's own policy prioritizing the protection of children. Read

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Will Annan Raise Destruction of Israel With Iran?

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to visit Tehran during a Mideast trip next week, but his spokesman could not say Wednesday whether he would bring up President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial and calls for Israel's destruction. Read

US Dismisses Syria's Gripes About Int'l Troops on its Border

The U.S. has dismissed Syria's opposition to the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers on the Lebanese side of its border with Syria -- a key requirement for the force, Israel says, if the flow of weapons to Hizballah terrorists is to be stopped. Read

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pastors Who 'Incited Hatred Against Muslims' Want Decision Overturned

Two evangelical pastors in Australia found guilty 20 months ago of vilifying Muslims could go to prison if they fail in an appeal currently underway in Melbourne. Read

Annan, Not Israel, to Decide on Makeup of Peacekeeping Force

A new row is brewing between Israel and the United Nations over which of the U.N.'s member-states should be eligible to contribute troops to a mission to keep the peace between Israel and Shi'ite terrorists in Lebanon. Read

Monday, August 21, 2006

Speculation Rages About Iran's Plans for August 22

August 22 could usher in an apocalyptic period in the Middle East thanks to some belligerent action on the part of the Iranian regime. Or maybe not. Read

Iran Looks Set to Say No on Nuclear Offer

Two days ahead of its self-imposed deadline to respond to a nuclear package offered by six leading nations, Iran said Sunday it would not stop enriching uranium, as the international community has demanded. Read

Friday, August 18, 2006

Gov't Split Puts Embryonic Cloning Back on Agenda in Australia

Two months after the Australian government rejected the recommendations of an official inquiry that a ban on the cloning of human embryos for research be lifted, divisions in the coalition have forced the issue back onto the legislative agenda. Read

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Hizballah Plotting a Coup in Lebanon?

Some politicians in Lebanon are concerned that Hizballah, emboldened after its military campaign against Israel, may be maneuvering -- with Syrian support -- to expand its authority on the national political scene. Read

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Invoking Hizballah, Sudan's Leader Vows to Defeat Any UN Force

Amid calls for the U.N. to deploy peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region by October 1, the country's Islamist leader has vowed to emulate Hizballah in Lebanon and rout any incoming force. Read

Give Us Shari'a, UK Muslim Leaders Tell Gov't

British Muslim leaders meeting with government representatives to discuss ways of combating extremism are calling for the establishment of Islamic law (shari'a) to govern Muslims' family life. Read

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Iran Looks Set to Reject Deal Offering Way Out of Nuclear Crisis

A week before Iran is expected to deliver its response to a carrots-and-stick proposal on its nuclear activities, Tehran looks set to reject the initiative and escalate its standoff with the international community. Read

In UN Bid, Taiwan Stresses Separate Identity, Human Rights

As it prepares yet again to fight for a place at the United Nations, the government of Taiwan is trying to draw a clear distinction between itself and China, arguing that denying its people representation is a human rights violation. Read

Monday, August 14, 2006

UK Muslims Link Terror Threat With Foreign Policy, Drawing Backlash

British Muslim representatives reacted to news of a foiled plot to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft with what has become a standard response -- blaming their government's foreign policies. But this time the maneuver sparked a backlash. Read

UN Resolution Leaves Hizballah Intact

The U.N. resolution designed to end the fighting in the Middle East does not mandate a stabilization force going into southern Lebanon either to disarm Hizballah, or to help the Lebanese government to disarm it. The omission raises concerns that the deal may fail to achieve a long-term peace. Read

Friday, August 11, 2006

Annan, UN Under Fire for Stance on Israel

Jewish organizations are stepping up pressure on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whom they accuse of siding against Israel in its war against Hizballah. The move comes amid growing criticism of a range of U.N. bodies that have issued declarations blaming Israel for the crisis. Read

Disarming Hizballah May Be Deferred

The U.N. Security Council Friday appeared to be headed for a vote on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Lebanon, but the resolution reportedly scraps Israel's central goal of disarming Hizballah. Read

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Muslim Countries Want Peacekeepers, But Can They be Neutral?

Two leading Muslim nations are preparing to contribute troops to an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon, but one of the two is doing nothing to stop local Islamists who want to travel to Lebanon to fight against Israel, and the foreign minister of the other has not ruled out sending weapons to Hizballah. Read

Wrong Qana Death Toll Still Being Reported

A full week since the death toll in the Israeli air strike on the Lebanese town of Qana was revised -- reduced by one-half -- a number of news organizations are still reporting the original, inaccurate figure as fact. Read

US-Bound Flights Targeted in Foiled Bomb Plot

United Kingdom authorities are calling it the biggest security threat since 9/11: Authorities have smashed what they're calling a significant plot to blow up aircraft in flight. Read

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hundreds Die in Sri Lanka, as UN Focuses on Lebanon

While the world's attention is riveted on the Middle East, a raging conflict in Sri Lanka is drawing relatively little attention from the United Nations, despite the fact that almost 600 lives have been lost over the same period as the Israeli-Hizballah fighting. Read

Sunnis Urged to Put Anti-Israel Campaign Above Rift With Shi'ites

Sunni Muslims around the world are being pressed to take sides in a dispute among scholars over whether a united Islamic front against Israel should take precedence over historical differences with Shi'ites. Read

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Korean Conservatives Accuse Gov't of Risking Military Ties With US

In a new sign of strain in the U.S.-South Korean military alliance, the Pentagon has signaled an intention to further reduce the numbers of U.S. troops there and speed up the transition of wartime operational command to the South Koreans. Read

Monday, August 07, 2006

Using 'Oil Weapon' Would Hurt Iran, Too

Iran on Sunday raised the specter of using oil as a weapon against the West if it is subjected to U.N. sanctions for its nuclear programs, but some experts argue that Iran's economy is a lot more fragile and vulnerable to damage than its huge oil wealth would suggest. Read

Critics of Israel Hail Hugo Chavez

Critics of Israel have found a new champion in Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez, who in recent days has recalled his country's envoy from Israel and compared the Jewish state's military campaign in Lebanon to the actions of Nazi Germany. Read

Friday, August 04, 2006

Administration Questioned for Not Holding Lebanese Gov't to Account

The Bush administration has made it clear it holds Hizballah and its sponsors in Syria and Iran responsible for the Middle East conflict, but it has refrained from criticizing the Lebanese government and army despite their open support for the terrorist organization. Read

Members of UN Body Say Israel's Military Actions Motivated by Racism

A United Nations committee dealing with racism took time out from its normal schedule Thursday to discuss Israel's military campaign in Lebanon, despite appeals by Jewish groups and concerns raised by an American member that it was stepping outside its mandate. Read

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fearing Violence, Jerusalem Police Close Temple Mount to Non-Muslims

Citing threats of violent Muslim protests at an already tense time, Jerusalem police announced that the Temple Mount would close to all non-Muslims on Thursday, the day Jews mark the destruction of the biblical temples and other historical calamities. Read

Australian PM Rejects Call to Soften on Hizballah

A Muslim advisory group set up by Australian Prime Minister John Howard to combat extremism in the Muslim community urged him Thursday to remove Hizballah from a list of outlawed terror organizations, but he refused. Read

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lebanese Army Openly Supports Hizballah

Empowering the Lebanese Army is seen as a key element in resolving the Mideast crisis, but the army's makeup and its attitude towards Hizballah raise serious questions about the feasibility of the plan. Read

Islamic States Want Lebanon Peacekeepers to Include Muslim Troops

Islamic countries, preparing to hold an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the Mideast crisis, want to ensure that Muslim countries participate in any multinational force deployed in Lebanon. Read

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

France Praises Iran's 'Stabilizing Role'

The French foreign minister, whose government is positioning itself to play a leading part in Mideast peace efforts, has described Iran as a respected country that plays a stabilizing role in the region. Read

Iran Rejects Watered-Down UN Resolution on Nuclear Activities

The U.N. Security Council for the first time has passed a resolution on Iran's nuclear programs that includes a threat to consider sanctions if Tehran does not meet a deadline to stop its activities. Iran immediately rejected the measure, which requires it to suspend uranium enrichment by the end of August. Read