Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Call From Jewish Organizations For US to Boycott ‘Durban II’

Major American Jewish organizations are concerned that a United Nations conference on racism to be held next spring will become a platform for Israel-bashing, yet have not called for the United States to boycott the event. Read

Suspected ‘Mother Ship’ Sunk by Indian Navy Had Been Commandeered by Pirates

A week after the Indian Navy announced that it had sunk a pirate “mother ship” in the waters off the northeast African coast, it emerged that the ship was a Thai fishing vessel that had just been seized by pirates. Read

U.N. Assembly President Should be Sacked for Slamming Israel, Critics Say

The president of the United Nations General Assembly should be fired for his verbal attacks on Israel this week, a Jewish human rights group said Tuesday. Read

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

‘Defamation’ of Islam Resolution Set to Pass, but Losing Ground

A United Nations committee has passed a controversial “defamation of religions” draft resolution but, amid freedom of expression concerns, the measure looks set to get less support when it comes to a final vote next month, than in previous years. Read

Monday, November 24, 2008

Russian Leader Makes Provocative Tour of America’s Backyard

Following a farewell meeting with President Bush in Peru, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev continues a regional tour that will include politically charged visits to two of the region’s most anti-U.S. nations. Read

Pakistan Denies Agreement Okaying US Missile Strikes

Pakistan has no agreement with the United States permitting missile attacks on Pakistani soil, the country’s prime minister told lawmakers in a bid to quell strong suspicions that a surge of attacks – more than 20 in three months – had been quietly authorized. Read

Friday, November 21, 2008

NATO Membership for Ukraine, Georgia Looks Doubtful

Ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers to review the question of membership for Ukraine and Georgia, leaders of the two former Soviet republics are stepping up appeals for a positive decision, but with little signs for optimism. Read

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For Bush, Asia Pacific Summit Will be More Than a Swan Song

When President Bush looks around the room at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru this weekend, he will see a very different group of leaders than the one he first joined for the forum’s annual gathering in 2001. Read

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don’t Fund UNFPA, Lawmakers Urge, After Woman Escapes Forced Abortion

The Chinese government reportedly has backed down amid international outrage, reversing a decision to force a Uighur woman who is six months pregnant to abort her child under Beijing’s notorious population control policies. Read

China, Cuba Tighten Bonds

Leaders of two of the world’s surviving communist regimes – one economically sluggish, the other thriving – met in Havana Tuesday to strengthen relations. Read

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

U.N. Human Rights Council Gets a New Ceiling – and More Controversy

The United Nations on Tuesday will unveil a multi-million dollar ceiling decoration, paid for in part by the Spanish government’s budget for overseas aid. Read

Hijacked Oil Tanker Ups the Stakes in Pirate-Ridden Waters

As a hijacked supertanker carrying $100 million worth of Saudi oil heads towards the coast of Somalia, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen expressed surprise at the capabilities of pirates operating in the waters off East Africa. He said navies were limited in their response once ships have fallen into pirates’ hands. Read

Monday, November 17, 2008

In Guaranteeing Taliban Chief’s Safety, Karzai Strikes Defiant Note

In a new challenge to his Western allies, Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will guarantee protection for Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar if the fugitive is willing to negotiate a peace deal. Read

Senator in Tight Race Has Closely Watched the U.N.

Minnesota’s too-close-to-call U.S. Senate contest could have implications far beyond the North Star State – and even the United States. The incumbent whose seat is on the line has built a reputation as a leading watchdog of the United Nations. Read

Friday, November 14, 2008

India Uncertain About Obama

The U.S.-India relationship, which deepened significantly during the Bush administration, could face a cooling period if the next president pushes for a more active role in efforts to resolve the 60 year-old Kashmir conflict. Read

Thursday, November 13, 2008

‘Durban II’ Counter-Conference Planned, But What Will Obama Do?

As a United Nations committee continues preparations for what is shaping up to be a politically charged international conference on racism next spring, plans are moving ahead for a parallel event that aims to deliver an “alternative viewpoint.” Read

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Images on Soccer Balls Offend Muslim Sensibilities

An Islamic clerics’ group in South Africa is protesting the appearance of Koranic text in advertising and promotional merchandise for the soccer World Cup, which the country is hosting in 2010. Read

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saudi King Promoting Faith Dialogue Should Look Closer to Home, Critics Say

President Bush will join other leaders at a Saudi-initiated inter-religious meeting at the United Nations this week, but critics of the Saudi regime say King Abdullah should be challenged on religious repression at home. Read

‘Apartheid’ Israel, Islamophobia on the Agenda for U.N. Racism Meeting

Seven years after the United States and Israel withdrew in protest from a United Nations racism gathering, the drafters of the primary document for a follow-up conference next spring have included sentiments that prompted the earlier walkout. Read

Monday, November 10, 2008

Russian Sub Disaster Highlights Fleet Safety Ahead of Caribbean Visit

A deadly weekend accident aboard a Russian nuclear-powered submarine has focused fresh attention on the condition of the country’s fleet just weeks before Russian warships hold politically charged joint exercises with the Venezuelan Navy in the Caribbean. Read

Friday, November 07, 2008

U.S. Expected to Reverse Course on United Nations

The United States’ relationship with the United Nations faces a major change under the next administration. Those advocating greater U.S. engagement with the world body are lining up with advice for President-elect Barack Obama. Read

Opponents Hope to Block Putin’s Return

In an effort to prevent the Kremlin from amending Russia’s constitution to extend presidential terms, key opposition figures have announced the formation of a new democratic movement. Amending the constitution is seen as part of a calculated plan for Vladimir Putin to return to power. Read

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Critics Protest Promotion of ‘Seditious’ Islamic Finance

Charging that principles of Islamic law are being introduced in the United States by stealth, critics on Thursday will protest outside a U.S. Treasury Department seminar on shari’a-complaint finance. Read

Chavez, Allies Applaud Obama Victory

Two months after expelling the American ambassador as diplomatic ties reached rock-bottom, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has expressed a desire for “new relations” with the United States under an Obama administration. Read

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Wins

Barack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States, NBC projected at 11 p.m U.S. eastern time Tuesday. Read

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama’s Trade, Security Stances Concern Some in Asia

As Americans go to the polls on Tuesday, more than one government in Asia is uneasy at the prospect of an Obama presidency. Read

Across Time Zones, Americans Watch and Wait

Around the world over the next 24 hours, time zone-challenged Americans will be watching, celebrating or commiserating as the results of the 2008 U.S. election roll in. Read

Monday, November 03, 2008

October Iraq Combat Deaths Match the Lowest Month

October marked the first month since the battle for Baghdad in April 2003 in which no U.S. service member has died in combat in the Iraqi capital. Pentagon statistics also show the overall death toll for the month matched the lowest monthly total of the war. Read

Few Details Known About Obama’s Three Weeks in Pakistan

As the presidential election campaign draws to a close, unanswered questions about Barack Obama’s three-week visit to Pakistan 27 years ago continue to cause unease in some quarters, but his campaign has revealed few details. Read