Friday, September 28, 2007

Study Defending Assisted Suicide Written by Assisted Suicide Advocate

A new academic study disputes the argument that legalizing physician-assisted suicide is a first step in doing away with society's weakest members. But missing from media reports on the issue is the fact that the lead author herself has advocated the controversial practice. Read

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Burma's Neighbors Reluctant to Apply Pressure

A day after China and Russia blocked Security Council condemnation of Burma's military rulers, foreign ministers from neighboring Southeast Asian nations will meet on the sidelines of the U.N. Thursday to discuss the crisis, but sanctions won't be on the agenda. Read

Chinese Communists Have Little Success Building Ties With GOP, Dems

As it reaches out to political parties across the world, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has found the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States tough nuts to crack. Read

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Poland Goes Against European Tide on Death Penalty

European governments at the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week are pushing for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty. But European Union consensus has fractured over one member state's determination to link the issue with abortion and euthanasia. Read

Europe Spearheads Drive to End Capital Punishment

Italy's leader urged United Nations member states to back a resolution declaring a moratorium on the death penalty, saying the worldwide campaign had reached a "decisive moment." Read

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

China Won't Interfere in Burma

President George W. Bush is expected to announce new sanctions against the military rulers of Burma (Myanmar) in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Anticipating such new steps at the General Assembly session to increase pressure on Burma, China -- the military junta's closest ally -- earlier reiterated its opposition to interference in other countries' internal affairs. Read

'Kick Iran Out of UN, Indict Ahmadinejad'

As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended his country's human rights record in New York City on Monday, the U.N.'s top human rights body in Geneva heard an appeal for Iran's expulsion from the U.N. and for its leader to be indicted under international law. Read

Monday, September 24, 2007

Politics Trumps 'Olympic Spirit' in China-Taiwan Dispute

The Olympic Games are supposed to embody a spirit of peace and friendship, but a year before Beijing hosts the 2008 summer event, the historic rift between China and Taiwan already has upset the touted harmony. Read

Burma Sees Biggest Anti-Gov't Protests in Years

Protests led by Buddhist monks in Burma showed no sign of abating on Monday, following a show of defiance toward the ruling military regime over the weekend - the largest protest in years. Read

New Japanese Leader Faces Tough Task

Japan will have a new prime minister on Tuesday -- a 71-year-old veteran whose views on foreign relations are widely described as "moderate," and who handily defeated a foreign policy hawk in a weekend election to head the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Read

Friday, September 21, 2007

Australian Spy Station Could Become Cog in US Missile Defense System

Australia this week marked the 40th anniversary of a joint Australia-U.S. surveillance station in the Central Australian outback by indicating that the base could play a role in American ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans. Read

Election Date Announced, But Musharraf's Troubles Continue

Pakistani officials have announced a date for presidential elections, but the political crisis facing President Pervez Musharraf, an important but sometimes controversial ally in the U.S. anti-terror campaign, shows little sign of abating. Read

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Taiwan Regrets Yet Another Unsuccessful UN Membership Bid

Taiwan said Thursday it regretted a decision by a key United Nations panel to exclude its application for U.N. membership from the agenda of the General Assembly that has convened in New York City. Read

One Child Too Many: Lesbian Couple Sues

In Australia, a lesbian couple is suing a doctor after fertility treatments resulted in the birth of twins rather than a single baby. The court case is provoking strong reaction in the country. Read

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Increases in Vietnam Aid Tied to Human Rights Improvements

Vietnamese pro-democracy activists have welcomed the passage of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that ties future increases in U.S. non-humanitarian aid to Hanoi to verifiable improvements in its human rights record. Read

Iran Trying to Woo Arab Gulf States

At a time of increasing tension between Iran and the West, a senior Iranian official has again proposed the establishment of a security pact with mostly Sunni Arab Gulf states that historically have enjoyed close ties with the United States. Read

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ahmadinejad's Planned UN Visit Draws Fire

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plan to attend the U.N. General Assembly's annual session in New York City next week has sparked criticism, with a Republican presidential hopeful urging the U.N. to withdraw its invitation and American Jewish leaders planning a demonstration against the visitor. Read

Foreign Policy Moderate Looks Set to Become Japan's Next Leader

A campaign by a strongly pro-U.S. politician with "hawkish" views on Asia to become Japan's next prime minister has run into trouble, and the ruling party's traditional factionalism looks set to hand victory to a more moderate rival. Read

Monday, September 17, 2007

China Lashes Out at Taiwan's UN Push, Proposed US Arms Sale

Beijing stepped up its Taiwan rhetoric over the weekend, condemning the island's leader for promoting a referendum on joining the United Nations and criticizing Washington for new plans to sell weaponry to Taipei clearly intended to defend it against potential Chinese attack. Read

Islamists Want Blood Spilt Over Mohammed Sketches

The row over sketches portraying Mohammed as a dog took a new turn over the weekend with a purported al Qaeda death sentence on the Swedish artist responsible for the pictures and the editor whose newspaper published one of them. Read

Friday, September 14, 2007

Islamic Bloc Says Swedish Gov't Apologized for Mohammed Sketch

Sweden's foreign ministry has denied apologizing to a body representing the world's Islamic nations for a sketch, published in a newspaper, depicting Mohammed as a dog. Read

UN Adopts Indigenous Rights Pact, But Disagreements Persist

After more than two decades of debate, the U.N. General Assembly Thursday adopted a declaration on indigenous rights, but Western countries with sizeable indigenous populations cried foul. Read

Iran Gets China's Support on Nuclear Issue

A senior Iranian government envoy is visiting China to bolster support for a long-time ally, amid a new U.S. push for Security Council sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Read

Thursday, September 13, 2007

After Resignation, Japan Looks Ahead

Following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's unexpected resignation announcement, attention turns to likely successors and the future of the country's participation in international counter-terror operations and expanding regional security role. Read

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ex-Muslim 'Apostates' Organize in Europe

An Iranian-born Dutch politician under fire from Muslims for his dissenting views on Islam on Tuesday officially launched an organization to support people who have renounced the religion. Read

'This is How Democracy Works in Belgium'

Defying a legal ban, an estimated 200 people took part in a short-lived demonstration in Brussels Tuesday against "the islamization of Europe." The gathering was disrupted when Belgian police intervened and detained scores of people, including several European lawmakers. Read

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Japan's Role in Anti-Terror Campaign at Stake

Six years after the terrorist attacks that propelled Japan into joining international security efforts, the country's involvement in the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign is on the line, along with the political career of a conservative prime minister who is among its keenest supporters. Read

Bush the 'Best Ally' of Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, Professor Says

President Bush is the "best ally" of Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leftist MIT professor Noam Chomsky was quoted as telling one of Japan's largest newspapers on Tuesday. Read

Monday, September 10, 2007

Australia Sees Achievement in Asia-Pacific Climate Declaration

Amid criticism from environmentalists, the Australian government says an Asia-Pacific agreement on climate change is significant because China has moved closer to accepting the need for targets for developing countries, such as China itself. Read

Dismal Polls, But Australian PM Voices Confidence

One of President Bush's closest international allies insisted Monday that he could win re-election later this year, despite his poor showing in the polls and calls for him to relinquish leadership of his party. Read

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bush Pushes Democracy in Asia, as Taiwan Bristles Under Fresh Chinese Pressure

President Bush called Friday for democracies in the Asia-Pacific region to work together to support democratic values and help those working for free societies. In a speech in Sydney, Bush listed Taiwan among the region's democracies. In contrast, he expressed the hope that when China hosts the 2008 Olympic Games, it would use the opportunity to demonstrate "a commitment to greater openness and tolerance." Read

China Prefers Kyoto Principles to New Climate Change Deal

The Australian government is still hoping a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders this weekend will produce a climate change agreement that does not mimic the Kyoto Protocol, although China -- now reportedly the world's biggest emitter of "greenhouse gases" -- is applying the brakes. Read

Anti-Shari'a 9/11 Protest Will Go Ahead Despite Hurdles, Organizers Say

Anti-Islamist activists are still planning to demonstrate in Brussels next Tuesday to mark the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks and protest against the "Islamization of Europe," but organizers are grappling with legal difficulties and warnings that violence may erupt. Read

Thursday, September 06, 2007

US-Australian Ties Firmer Than Ever, But an Election Looms

President Bush has been enjoying a warm reception in Australia from close political ally Prime Minister John Howard, but on Thursday, he held talks with the man who hopes to replace Howard in upcoming elections -- and plans to shift direction on Iraq if he does. Read

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

US And Asian Allies Hold Joint Naval Exercises

As President Bush begins a four-day visit to Australia, warships from the two countries have joined those of three other friendly Asian nations for a massive joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. Read

Swedish Newspaper Reaching Out to Muslims After Mohammed Sketch

A Swedish newspaper under fire for publishing a cartoon depicting Mohammed as a dog plans to publish an editorial in Arabic this week explaining its decision, amid simmering Muslim unhappiness over the incident. Read

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

North Korea Says It Will Be Removed From Terror Blacklist

North Korea claims that the United States has agreed to remove it from its list of terror-sponsoring nations, following Pyongyang's weekend agreement to shut down its atomic programs by the end of the year. Read

Climate Expected to Top Asia-Pacific Meeting Agenda

World trade and security will be on the table, but as Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Sydney, Australia, this week the issue of climate change looks set to dominate the headlines. Read