Wednesday, December 31, 2008

South Korean Lawmakers in 11th Hour Bid to Disrupt US Trade Deal

As the last day of the year counts down, opposition lawmakers occupying South Korea’s parliament in a bid to stop a free trade agreement with the United States are hoping to resist efforts by security guards to evict them before time runs out. Read

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For Israel, Glimmers of Support in Europe

As European Union foreign ministers met late Tuesday to push for a humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas, Israel received a rare expression of support from the government due to assume the E.U.’s rotating presidency on Thursday. Read

Iran Takes Lead in Islamic Response to Gaza Assault

Assuming a leading role in the Islamic response to Israel’s Gaza offensive, Hamas’ Iranian sponsor is encouraging protests, condemning what it regards as colluding Arab regimes, and demanding that Israeli leaders be tried by the International Criminal Court. Read

North Korea Steps Up Reports of Alleged Kim Jong-il Outings

Amid continuing speculation that Kim Jong-il is gravely ill – or even dead – North Korean state media have stepped up reports about purported appearances by the dictator, most recently a reported public classic music event. Read

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gaza Operation Places Israel At Odds With Int’l Community

Israel was Monday standing virtually isolated in the international community as condemnations rolled in from around the world and across the political and religious spectrum in response to its weekend assault on Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Read

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

As Bush Pardons Man Who Helped Israel, Pollard Supporters Wait in Hope

President Bush’s decision to grant a rare posthumous pardon to a man who provided planes to Jews fighting Israel’s 1948 war of independence will be welcomed in Israel, where many campaigners are also hoping for clemency for another, living American who helped the Jewish state. Read

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Czech Republic Not Ideal to Lead E.U., Some Say

Americans with an interest in their country’s foreign relations can expect to hear the names Vaclav Klaus and Mirek Topolanek more frequently over the next six months. Read

Reserve Christmas Service Pews for Paying Congregants, Politicians Say

Germans who attend church only on high holidays such as Christmas should not be allowed to take pew space from regular church members, two politicians are insisting. Read

Monday, December 22, 2008

Questions Remain Unanswered Two Decades After Plane Bombing Over Lockerbie

Twenty years after a terrorist bomb brought down an American Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, relatives of the victims marked the anniversary Sunday amid still-unanswered questions and continuing doubts about whether justice has been served. Read

As Mideast Tensions Rise, Obama Urged to Be More Flexible About Hamas

The end of a truce between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group ruling Gaza is boosting tensions in the Gaza-Israel region. On Sunday, the two politicians vying to become Israel’s next prime minister early next year vowed to topple the Islamists. Read

Friday, December 19, 2008

UN Passes Islamic ‘Defamation’ Measure, But Critics Hail ‘Backlash’

A “defamation” of religion resolution stating that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism” passed in the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday – but with fewer votes than in previous years.. Read

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Latin Americans Should Kick Out U.S. Envoys, Says Chavez Ally

Latin American nations were urged Wednesday to expel all American ambassadors if the incoming Obama administration does not lift the embargo on Cuba. Read

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Change Draft Text or We’ll Boycott Racism Meeting, Netherlands Warns U.N.

The Netherlands says it will stay away from a United Nations conference on racism scheduled for next spring unless draft documents disproportionately critical of Israel are amended. The announcement is the latest indication that a boycott campaign may slowly be picking up steam. Read

Israel-U.N. Rift Widens

Israel called off a meeting between its envoy to the United Nations and the president of the U.N. General Assembly at the last minute Tuesday, as a dispute between them showed no sign of subsiding. Read

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Zimbabwe Crisis Deepens, But South Africa Still Blocking Security Council Action

Any U.N. Security Council action on Zimbabwe may have to wait until South Africa, Zimbabwe’s neighbor and longstanding defender of President Robert Mugabe’s government, relinquishes its council seat at the end of the year. Read

Shoe-Flinging Takes Off As A Form of Protest

It’s catching: Two days after an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President Bush in a show of contempt during a Baghdad press conference, green activists in Australia borrowed the tactic to demonstrate their anger at government climate policy shifts. Read

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hamas Meets With Carter, Signals Ceasefire With Israel May End

Former President Jimmy Carter met with the leader of Hamas in Damascus on Sunday, the same day the Palestinian terrorist group marked its 21st anniversary and signaled its intention to end an erratically-upheld ceasefire. Read

Israel Denies Entry to U.N. Critic Who Accused It of War Crimes

Israel on Sunday blocked entry to a U.S. scholar and outspoken critic of Israeli policies who in his new capacity of special United Nations investigator last week accused Israel of “war crimes.” Read

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pakistan's Post-Mumbai Clampdown Targets Islamists

Pakistani authorities have placed under house arrest the founder of the militant Islamist group that India blames for the Mumbai terrorist attacks, and on Friday they were shutting down the offices of his “charitable” organization. Read

Hezbollah Snubs Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter will not meet with Hezbollah during his current visit to Lebanon – not because he changed his mind about sitting down with a terrorist group linked to deadly attacks against Americans, but because Hezbollah refused to meet with him. Read

Thursday, December 11, 2008

UN Assembly President Fails in Bid to Silence Israel During Special Session

The president of the U.N. General Assembly, already under fire over remarks attacking Israel, reportedly went out of his way this week to try to prevent an Israeli representative from addressing Wednesday’s special session marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Security Council Must Stop Using Veto in Cases of Genocide, Group Says

Members of the United Nations Security Council should not be allowed to use their veto power to block or weaken resolutions on genocide or mass atrocities, a bipartisan team of former policymakers said Tuesday, as the U.N. marked the 60th anniversary of the convention against genocide. Read

No Unified Security Council Call for Mugabe to Quit

As Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis deepens, three of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are pressing for President Robert Mugabe to step down, but the remaining two have refrained from joining the call. Read

‘Right to Life’ Should Mean Just That, Groups Tell U.N.

As the United Nations on Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, pro-lifers will hand over a petition signed by more than 367,000 people urging U.N. member states to interpret article three of the landmark declaration – which upholds “the right to life” – as protecting the unborn child from abortion. Read

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Extradition of Mumbai Terror Suspects Looks Unlikely

As Pakistan bows to pressure from India and the U.S. and moves against militants allegedly linked to last month’s Mumbai attacks, it has given no sign of willingness to send the suspects to India to stand trial. Read

Monday, December 08, 2008

Attacks on Afghanistan Supply Lines Show Need for Alternatives

A costly Taliban attack on Afghanistan-bound military supplies over the weekend – the fourth in Pakistan in less than a month – again has underlined the importance of finding alternative supply lines for U.S. and NATO forces there. Read

Friday, December 05, 2008

China-Europe Row Deepens

In an increasingly determined bid to prevent a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama, the Chinese government has warned about the possible long-term harm to bilateral relations. Read

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Stop Using the Word ‘Islam’ in Reports on Terrorism, Islamic Bloc Says

If the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had its way, media reporting on terrorist activity would exclude “any reference to Islam” – whatever the affiliation, identity or motivation of the perpetrators. Read

Pakistan Won’t Hand Over Suspects Demanded by India

Despite its pledge to the United States to cooperate fully, Pakistan is refusing to hand over Muslim fugitives whom India has linked to last week’s assault in Mumbai. Read

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

India Won’t Rule Out Military Response to Mumbai Attacks

Indian officials have not ruled out the possibility of a military strike against Pakistan-based terrorist targets in response to last week’s attacks in Mumbai. Read

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

India Wants Action; Pakistani Group Denies Links to Terror

Ahead of a hastily-arranged visit to New Delhi by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, India is demanding that neighboring Pakistan act firmly against those behind last week’s deadly attacks in Mumbai. Read

Monday, December 01, 2008

Spotlight Falls on Pakistan After Mumbai Terror Attacks

As India continues to count the cost of Mumbai’s three-day standoff with Islamic terrorists, the key question exercising government officials and security experts alike is who was behind the coordinated and well-planned operation. Read

Obama Pick for UN Envoy May Face Resistance Over Darfur

While much attention will be focused Monday on President-elect Obama’s announcement that former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton will assume the top diplomatic post in his administration, his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations will also draw scrutiny in foreign capitals. Read