Friday, May 30, 2008

History Hangs Over Japan's Offer to Send Earthquake Relief

Japan on Friday dropped a plan for military aircraft to deliver relief supplies to victims of China's massive earthquake. The decision came amid Beijing's concerns about a public backlash, given the history of hostility between the two Asian nations. Read

Support for Obama, Anti-US Feeling Alive and Well in Europe

If citizens of five leading European countries were electing the next U.S. president, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama would be a shoo-in, according to a new poll that also reveals strong views on America's global role. Read

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Algeria's Christians Under Fire

Two years after Algeria enacted a troubling religious law, Christians in the North African nation are facing an unprecedented clampdown, with churches being closed, suspected missionaries put on trial, and Muslim figures warning of devious plans to lure Algerians away from Islam. Read

We Want Security, Int'l Participation, Taiwan's Ruling Party Tells China

China on Thursday invited Taiwan to restart bilateral dialogue that has been suspended for almost a decade. The talks are expected to begin as early as mid-June. Read

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

'Deck Stacked Against' Israel Ahead of UN Racism Conference

With a venue and date set for a United Nations conference on racism, organizations hoping to avoid a repeat of the problems that plagued the 2001 gathering are going to have to be "very aggressive to see that Israel and her Zionist supporters around the world are not demonized," a leading Jewish human rights groups said Wednesday. Read

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pakistan's Deals With Extremists Draw Fire

A threat by Pakistan's top Taliban commander to continue supporting an anti-U.S. "jihad" in Afghanistan -- regardless of negotiated peace accords with the Pakistan government -- has heightened concerns that Islamabad's approach to the militancy is harming the anti-terrorism campaign. Read

Iraqi Christians Warn of 'New Catastrophe for Humanity'

Days before Sweden hosts an international conference aimed at pushing ahead the political and economic reform process in Iraq, hundreds of exiled Iraqi Christians demonstrated outside the country's parliament Sunday to draw attention to the minority's plight in their homeland. Read

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Russian President in China to Cement Strategic Ties

On his first trip abroad as Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Beijing Friday for a visit that will highlight the neighboring giants' common views on international issues and seek to enhance trade, energy and military ties. Read

Glimmers of Goodwill Across the Taiwan Strait

The inauguration of a new president in Taiwan has sparked a debate about whether better relations with China are in the cards -- and if so, at what cost to the sovereignty of the self-governing island. Read

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Islamic Bloc Nations Control One-Third of UN Rights Council Seats

In a mixed result for those concerned about the makeup and performance of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka failed Wednesday to win another term, but bids by Pakistan and Bahrain were successful. Two African countries with poor human rights records, Gabon and Zambia, also attained seats on the Geneva-based body. Read

Burma Junta Won't Budge on Western Military Aid

Sharp criticism from the United States and European Union appears to have done nothing to soften the Burmese military junta's opposition to the idea of Western warships and helicopters bringing in aid to the country's cyclone-stricken people. Read

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Free Nations Expected to Remain in Minority on UN Rights Council

A campaign by non-governmental organizations aimed at preventing Sri Lanka from being elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council has drawn some support, but the country's bid for a seat is just one of several concerns surrounding this week's election. Read

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Christians Grapple With Opportunities Offered by Olympics

Many Christians view the Beijing Olympics as an unprecedented opportunity for outreach in a country whose communist authorities still tightly restrict religious freedom. But a prominent American evangelist's warning about illegal activity has exposed differences over how the sensitive issue should be tackled. Read

Monday, May 19, 2008

'Indict Ahmadinejad for Inciting Genocide'

As the U.S. election campaign revisits the question of whether an American president should meet unconditionally with heads of hostile regimes, a drive to haul the Iranian leader before an international court may be picking up steam. Read

Burma's Neighbors Meet, Look for Ways to Overcome Aid Hurdles

More than two weeks after a massive cyclone hit Burma, foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are finally meeting on Monday to discuss how they can help the country respond to the disaster. Read

Friday, May 16, 2008

Interpol Probe Bolsters Claims of Chavez-FARC Links

A meeting of Latin American and European leaders beginning Friday could be overshadowed by a dispute between Andean neighbors over Venezuela's alleged links to a Colombian terror group. Read

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quake Death Toll Climbs, China Declines Foreign Rescue Teams

The official death toll from the earthquake that struck southwestern China this week has reached 15,000, but with tens of thousands of people still missing, it could climb much higher. Read

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Iran Blames US, Britain, Israel for Blast in Mosque

Iran stepped up its attacks against the West Tuesday, accusing the U.S., Britain and Israel of being behind a deadly blast in mosque last month that killed 14 people. Read

Vietnam's Hosting of Religious Event Called 'Window-Dressing'

A U.N.-sponsored international event marking the Buddhist religion's "contribution to building a just, democratic and civilized society" has begun in Vietnam, but critics are questioning the suitability of the venue, given the communist government's record on religious freedom and political dissent. Read

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Taiwan Offers Help After Deadly Earthquake in China

Setting aside differences over its longstanding dispute with China, Taiwan has offered to deploy search and rescue personnel to the mainland's southwestern Sichuan province, where China's biggest earthquake in three decades reportedly killed some 10,000 people. Read

Monday, May 12, 2008

North Korea Produces Nuclear Data, Leaving Key Questions Unanswered

More than three months after it was supposed to produce a full accounting of its nuclear activities, the North Korean government has given the U.S. some 18,000 pages of data relating to its plutonium-based program, but it has yet to lift the lid on uranium-related work and proliferation. Read

Junta Holds Elections Amid Burma Calamity

As aid groups warned that more than a million lives may be at risk following the recent cyclone in Burma, the country's ruling military junta held a weekend referendum on a new constitution and hailed it a success. Read

Friday, May 09, 2008

US Citizen Faces Terror Charges in Vietnam

An American national is due to go on trial in Vietnam next week on terrorism charges, and the case has some U.S. lawmakers calling for Washington to reconsider the decision to normalize trade relations with Hanoi. Read

China Insists Burma Cyclone Crisis Not An Issue for Security Council

As survivors of the devastating cyclone in Burma await life-saving international aid, China -- the closest ally of the military junta accused of hindering the humanitarian effort -- is insisting that the situation not be "politicized" by bringing in the U.N. Security Council. Read

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Vote Against Embryonic Cloning Seen as Sign of Shifting Debate

In what could signal a further shift in the global stem cell debate, lawmakers in an Australia state have rejected legislation allow the cloning of human embryos for research purposes. Read

China, Japan Seek Better Ties After Years of Tensions

Setting aside deep historical differences and years of strained ties, China and Japan have signed an agreement pledging to boost relations in the coming years. Read

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Despite Disaster, Controversial Burma Referendum Will Go Ahead

Burma's military rulers, under fire for their response to a devastating cyclone that has cost at least 22,000 lives, are pressing ahead with plans to hold a weekend referendum on a new constitution despite the humanitarian disaster. Read

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Chavez Accuses US of Fomenting Bolivian Crisis

Attempts by Bolivia's most prosperous region to win greater autonomy from the government of leftist President Evo Morales are part of a U.S. plot against the people of South America, according to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Morales ally. Read

India Troubled by Chinese Submarine Reports

Revelations of advances in China's nuclear-powered submarine capabilities and naval expansion are having an impact in India, whose own plans for nuclear submarines have undergone lengthy delays. Read

Monday, May 05, 2008

Health Scare Causes New Headache for China

With three months to go before the Olympic Games opens in Beijing, China faces a new and unexpected worry, with the outbreak of a contagious virus that has killed at least 24 children and infected more than 5,000 more. Read

Italy Rejects Libyan Interference in Cabinet Decisions

Silvio Berlusconi has yet to take office after being re-elected Italian prime minister, but already the conservative politician faces the possibility of new tensions with some in the Muslim world. Read

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Olympic Torch Back in China After Protest-Filled Trip

Back on Chinese soil after a troubled trip around the world, the Olympic torch relay's journey through Hong Kong Friday will be a test of Beijing's willingness to allow free expression in the semi-autonomous territory. Read

Iran Presses Ahead With Proposed Natural Gas Cartel

Iran has presented representatives of natural gas-exporting countries with proposals aimed at turning an existing informal forum into an OPEC-like structure. It dismissed U.S. objections to the plan as politically motivated. Read