Friday, April 30, 2010

Silence From U.S. and Its Allies Allowed Iran to Get Seat on U.N. Women’s Rights Body

The United States and 12 other Western democracies kept silent this week as Iran was nominated for membership of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), thus enabling Iran to get the seat. Read

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iran Hopes to Shift Focus to Israel at U.N. Nuclear Conference

As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awaits a visa to attend next week’s nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York, Iran’s fellow Non-Aligned Movement members are finalizing plans to use the event to focus on Israel, not on Iran. Read

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chinese Naval Maneuvers Unsettle Its Neighbors

A series of Chinese naval movements beyond its coastal waters this month has set off alarm bells in the region. Read

Ukraine’s Shift on Black Sea Fleet Is A Boost for Moscow

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday quickly approved an agreement allowing the Black Sea Fleet to use a port in Ukraine for another 25 years, sealing a deal that has caused an uproar in Ukraine while marking another strategic victory for the Kremlin in the region it once dominated. Read

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Re-Election of Sudan’s President Underscores Limits of International Court

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the first sitting leader to be indicted for war crimes by an international court, has now become the first leader in that position to win re-election. Read

As Dispute Over U.S. Base Drags On, Japan’s Prime Minister Languishes in Polls

Eight months after his party’s historic election victory, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s popularity ratings sank to new lows this week, amid a drawn-out controversy over the relocation of a United States airbase. Read

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hamas Video Shows Kidnapped Israeli Soldier Returning Home in a Coffin

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu described as “despicable” an animated video clip released by Hamas Sunday which depicts an Israeli soldier who was abducted by the terrorist group in Gaza nearly four years ago, being returned to his father in Israel in a coffin. Read

Iran Drops Bid for Human Rights Council Seat, Eyes Women’s Rights Body Instead

Iran has confirmed it will no longer run for a seat on the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council. Instead, it aims to become a member of an international women’s rights body. Read

Friday, April 23, 2010

South Korea Seeking Solid Evidence to Explain Warship Disaster

Four weeks after a mysterious explosion sunk a South Korean naval ship near the disputed maritime border with North Korea, salvage crews prepared Friday to raise the remaining segment of the vessel in the hope that it may shed further light on a tragedy which many South Koreans are blaming on their communist neighbor. Read

As Iran Lobbies Against Sanctions, Biden Sees World ‘Unified’ on Nuclear Issue

In a bid to stave off a new round of U.N. Security Council sanctions over its nuclear activities, Iran is ratcheting up its diplomatic offensive, lobbying member states not to vote for a Western-drafted resolution. Read

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Activists Claim Free Speech Victory As ‘Leaving Islam’ Ads Return to Buses

A public transit authority in Florida has reversed a decision to take down banner advertisements on buses that offer help to Muslims wanting to leave their faith. Activists are hailing the move as a victory for free speech and religious freedom. Read

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

U.S. Congress Urges Obama to Impose New Sanctions on Iran, As U.N. Drags Its Feet

The U.S. Congress is edging closer to legislation providing for the toughest sanctions yet on Iran, including measures targeting gasoline imports. Read

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

U.K. Election Campaign Enlivened by Come-From-Behind Politician Who Wants A ‘Rebalanced’ Transatlantic Relationship

As the focus of Britain’s election campaign turns briefly to foreign policy this week, the views of anti-establishment outsider Nick Clegg will come under closer scrutiny, including his belief that Britain must “rebalance” its partnership with the United States. Read

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iran Condemns U.S. As ‘Nuclear Criminal,’ Pushes for Global Disarmament

Bolstered by allies, Iran hosted its own nuclear conference at the weekend, with its leaders labeling the United States the world’s “nuclear criminal,” demanding action on Israel’s nuclear weapons and calling for a new international body to oversee global disarmament. Read

Airport Disruptions from Ash Cloud 'Worse Than 9/11,' Says European Airline Group

Reeling from disruptions described as worse than those caused by 9/11, European airline and airport operators are appealing for authorities to reassess the flying ban imposed as a result of volcanic ash drifting unpredictably across the continent’s skies. Read

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mideast Tensions Rise Over New Missile Claims

Allegations that Syria is providing Lebanon’s Hezbollah with Scud missiles capable of hitting targets far inside Israeli territory are prompting warnings of new conflict in the volatile region. Read

Waning Support for Defamation of Religion Resolution Undermines Defense of Islam, OIC Chief Says

As its annual “defamation of religion” resolution loses ground at the United Nations after a decade of successes, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is urging its members to close ranks on an issue, which it calls vital for the defense of Islam. Read

Thursday, April 15, 2010

After Obama’s Strong Push for Sanctions on Iran, Administration Starts to Dampen Expectations

President Obama expended considerable energy this week urging international support for fresh U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities, but with continuing resistance from some influential countries, the administration is signaling that it will likely have to scale back its expectations. Read

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chinese Accounts of Obama-Hu Meeting Ignore Iran Sanctions Issue

Iran may have been the key focus of Monday’s one-on-one meeting between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, but Chinese officials and state media paid far more attention to other issues in the recently-strained relationship, including Tibet and Taiwan. Read

U.S. Hopeful of Continued Access to Central Asia Base

Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government says it will abide by an agreement on U.S. use of an airport there but amid a resurgence of Russian influence the future of the last remaining U.S. military facility in Central Asia is far from assured. Read

Monday, April 12, 2010

Polish President Was a Reliable U.S. Ally, But Also a Candid Critic

The death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski cut short the leadership of a conservative who did not shy away from controversy, whether it meant annoying the European Union over the death penalty or the Kremlin over his opposition to Russian maneuvering in the former Soviet sphere of influence. Read

Activist Atheist Pair Want Pope Arrested

Two prominent atheists have hired lawyers to investigate the possibility of having Pope Benedict XVI arrested for “crimes against humanity,” British media reported Sunday. Read

Friday, April 09, 2010

Palestinian Authority and Fatah Continue Their Longtime Practice of ‘Glorifying’ Terrorists

srael says the international community should condemn the naming of street in Palestinian Authority-controlled Ramallah after Hamas’ most notorious bomb-maker. Both the P.A. and its dominant Fatah faction have been honoring terrorists, whatever their affiliation, for years. Read

Obama Administration Urged Not to Legitimize Sudan’s Election

Amid opposition boycotts, vote-rigging concerns and calls for a postponement, the Obama administration is sending out mixed signals about Sudan’s election, which starts this weekend. Read

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Russia Denies Involvement in Kyrgyzstan Turmoil, Displays Little Sympathy

Under pressure to quit amid violent anti-government protests, Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has won little sympathy from Moscow, almost a year after he reversed a decision to end U.S. use of an air base vital to military operations in Afghanistan. Read

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Indian Government Vows to Continue Offensive After Deadly Attack by Outlawed Communists

India’s four-decade battle against Maoist insurgents suffered one of its deadliest setbacks Tuesday, when 75 security personnel were killed in a forest ambush. Read

Missile Defense Issue Remains A Sticking Point in U.S.-Russia Arms-Reduction Pact

Ahead of the signing of a landmark U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction pact in Prague Thursday, the long-running contention between the two nations over missile defense shows no sign of easing. Read

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Top Human Rights Group Blasted for ‘Defensive Jihad’ Comments

A simmering dispute over collaboration between Amnesty International and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee with Taliban sympathies has heated up after a senior Amnesty official argued that “defensive jihad” is not antithetical to human rights. Read

Despite U.S. Push for Sanctions, Iran Is Missing From U.N. Security Council’s April Agenda

After a flurry of diplomacy and statements last week indicating that sanctions against Iran were back on the international community’s front burner, the U.N. Security Council has released an agenda for the month of April that excludes Iran altogether. Read

Friday, April 02, 2010

Saudi Conference Condemns Extremism, Embraces Shari’a

A conference in Saudi Arabia this week ended with a condemnation of terrorism and appeals for Muslims to reject extremism, but it also recommended that all Muslim governments apply shari’a (Islamic law) “in all aspects of life.” Read

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Credibility of Sudan Election in Doubt as Key Candidate Withdraws

Sudan’s first multi-party presidential election in more than two decades has been thrown into disarray by a leading party’s decision to withdraw its candidate from the contest. Read

Obama Administration Suggests China Has Shifted on Iran Sanctions, But Has It Really?

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator reportedly was traveling to China Thursday, after the Obama administration suggested that Beijing was coming around on the issue of applying pressure on Tehran over its nuclear activities. Read