Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Palestinians Try to Resurrect a U.N. Resolution They Violently Rejected 64 Years Ago

As the U.N. Tuesday marked its annual day of “solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, the Palestine Liberation Organization took the opportunity once again to promote a 1947 U.N. resolution that divided the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River into a Jewish state and an Arab one. Read

2012 Presidential Hopefuls Urged to Sign a ‘Pledge for Religious Freedom’

A religious freedom advocacy group is challenging all 2012 presidential contenders to sign a pledge committing themselves to promote religious freedom at home and to make it a foreign policy priority. Read

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

After Pakistan Closes U.S. Supply Routes to Afghanistan, Russia Warns About the Northern Route, Too

Ratcheting up a dispute with Washington over plans for a NATO European missile defense system, a senior Russian official has warned that his country may stop cooperating with the alliance over a crucial supply link to Afghanistan. Read

WH: ‘Democratic Process’ More Important Than Islamists Winning in Arab Nations

The Obama administration is again playing down concerns about the rise of Islamist movements in Arab countries in transition, even as developments in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Egypt indicate that the so-called “Arab spring” may leave Islamists in charge clear across North Africa. Read

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putin, Edging Closer to the Presidency, Warns Foreign Countries Not to Interfere

Formalizing his long-nurtured plan to return to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin on Sunday accepted “with gratitude” his United Russia party’s nomination as its candidate in next year’s presidential election – then warned the West against meddling in the political process. Read

Muslim Brotherhood Expected to Do Well As Egypt’s Complicated Election Process Begins

Egyptians were going to the polls Monday -- the beginning of a three-phase, six-week-long parliamentary election process that is getting under way amid deadly violence. At least 40 people were killed in the past week as protestors in Cairo’s Tahrir Square called for an end to military rule. Read

Iran-UK Relations Hit New Low as Lawmakers Vote to Expel British Ambassador

Just weeks after a new British ambassador arrived in Tehran following an eight-month hiatus, Iran’s parliament voted by an overwhelming margin Sunday to expel him and downgrade relations with London. Read

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

UNESCO Blasted for Reappointing Syria to Committee Dealing With Human Rights

Already reeling from a recent U.S. funding freeze over its decision to admit “Palestine,” the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO is facing new criticism over a decision to reappoint Syria to a committee dealing with human rights. Read

Gingrich Says He's 'Prepared to Take Heat' for Allowing Some Illegal Aliens to Stay in U.S.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered some effective lines during Tuesday evening's Republican presidential foreign policy debate, but the candidate currently leading in the polls also arguably took the greatest risk, defending views on immigration that many conservatives view as amounting to amnesty. Read

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Of Top Ten U.S. Aid Recipients, Only One Voted for U.N. Resolution on Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

A U.N. General Assembly committee has passed a draft resolution condemning the human rights situation in Iran by a larger margin than in past years, although there are still more countries either opposing the measure or abstaining than there are willing to vote in favor. Read

Monday, November 21, 2011

Obama Hails ‘Job-Creating’ Deals in Asia, As China Complains About Being ‘Encircled’

President Obama headed home from a nine-day Asia-Pacific trip highlighting deals that he said would support nearly 130,000 American jobs, while Chinese state media complained about an ambitious trade agreement widely seen as designed to isolate China. Read

Ron Paul’s Comments on 9/11 and U.S. Foreign Policy Open to Dispute

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s assertion on Sunday that the U.S. closed down its military base in Saudi Arabia “immediately after 9/11” is not strictly accurate. Read

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don’t Let Religious Freedom Commission Die, Chairman Urges Lawmakers

An eleventh-hour temporary spending measure passed by Congress Thursday provides a one-month reprieve for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), but its future remains in doubt because of a Senate block on reauthorization legislation – a block reportedly unconnected with the issue of religious freedom. Read

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obama Calls Crocodile-Attack Insurance ‘Most Unique Gift I’ve Ever Received As President’

Addressing Australian troops on Thursday, President Obama told them he had on his arrival in the rugged Northern Territory received "the most unique gift I've ever received as president" -- insurance against crocodile attack. Read

Despite U.S. Opposition, SE Asian Nations Reward Burma for Limited Reforms

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday agreed to allow Burma to chair the 10-member bloc in 2014, overruling objections by the United States and others who argue that the move is premature. Read

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Will the U.S. Fund a Palestinian Government That Includes Terrorists?

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction has agreed to form a unity government with Hamas that excludes Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a U.S.-trained economist who has won praise from Western governments but is opposed by the terrorist group that controls Gaza. Read

As Iranian Students Stage ‘Pro-Nuke’ Rallies, Dissidents Urge Iran to Back Away From Bomb-Making

Thousands of Iranian students reportedly formed a human chain around a nuclear facility in central Iran Tuesday in a show of support in the face of international condemnation, but there are signs that traditional support among reformists for the nuclear program may be splintering. Read

Indonesia Responds Warily to Obama Sending U.S. Troops to Australia

The first regional response to President Obama’s announcement of a long-term deployment of U.S. troops in Asia has not been positive. Read

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tough on Iran, Wary of UN: Gingrich’s Foreign Policy in Spotlight at Tuesday’s GOP Debate

As the Republican presidential hopefuls prepare for a foreign policy debate on Tuesday evening, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s poll surge following a string of strong debate performances will place him – and his foreign policy positions – at center stage. Read

Foreign Aid Is Investment in U.S. ‘Security and Prosperity,’ Say 5 Former Secretaries of State

As some GOP presidential candidates call for U.S. foreign aid to “start at zero,” five former secretaries of state – four of them from Republican administrations – wrote to lawmakers Monday, strongly supporting funding for the State Department and foreign operations. Read

Monday, November 14, 2011

Israelis Consider Fallout of Military Strike on Iran Nukes

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told cabinet ministers on Sunday that “the international community must stop Iran’s race to arm itself with nuclear weapons, a race that endangers the peace of the entire world.” Read

Friday, November 11, 2011

Senate May Force Shutdown of Religious Freedom Watchdog

For more than a decade, an independent, statutory monitor has been advising the U.S. executive and legislative branches on international religious freedom, drawing attention to the persecution of people of faith under Muslim, communist and autocratic regimes from Riyadh to Rangoon. But by this time next week, it may have to close its doors. Read

Clinton: Despite Economic Hardships at Home, It's Not the Time to ‘Downsize Our Work Around World’

Americans grappling with financial difficulties at home may question the wisdom of the U.S. choosing this time to expand engagement in the Asia-Pacific, but America cannot afford not to do so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. Read

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Obama Administration Not Keen on Congressional Calls to Crack Down on Iran’s Central Bank

Following the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s latest report on Iran, the Obama administration appears to be cool on some of the tougher steps members of Congress are proposing, such as bringing down the Central Bank of Iran. Read

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Pakistani Textbooks Teach Discrimination Against Non-Muslims, Says U.S. Commission

Textbooks used in Pakistani public schools and religious madrassas promote intolerant views of non-Muslim minorities, extol jihad, and portray non-Muslims not at citizens with rights but as infidels, pagans, apostates or subservient dhimmis, according to an unprecedented new study. Read

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Urges Dems to Support Republicans’ U.N. Funding Bill

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has become the first prominent Democrat to throw his support behind Republican-drafted legislation that would make U.S. funding to the United Nations contingent on far-reaching reforms. Read

Clinton: ‘Insulting, Dangerous and Wrong’ to Say ‘Muslims Cannot Thrive in a Democracy’

What political parties call themselves is less important than what they do, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday night, referring to Islamist parties boosted by this year’s upheavals in the Arab world. Read

Monday, November 07, 2011

Ron Paul: Offer Iran Friendship, Not Sanctions

At a time of escalating tensions with the Iranian regime over its suspected nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is suggesting that Washington adopt a new approach – don’t impose sanctions, “treat them differently,” and offer “friendship.” Read

Iran Boosts Its Anti-American Bluster Ahead of IAEA Report on Iran Nukes

A nine-year standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear programs may be entering a new and more serious phase, as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prepares to release a report expected to raise the most significant concerns yet about Iranian nuclear activities. Read

Friday, November 04, 2011

Money Talks: Palestinians Drop Plans to Join Other UN Agencies After UN Chief Frets About Repercussions

Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad Malki said Thursday that the P.A. will not pursue admission to additional UN agencies at this time, a reversal from an announcement earlier that it has at least 16 other U.N. bodies in its sights. Read

Thursday, November 03, 2011

‘A Nice Holiday Present for Iran’ As U.S. Lawmakers Advance Tougher Sanctions Legislation

Iran's oil industry, nuclear program, central bank and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are targeted in tough new bipartisan legislation, approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Read

Obama 'Remains Deeply Committed to UNESCO' Despite Vote to Admit Palestine

The United States was re-elected to the Executive Board of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday, two days after the agency’s admission of “Palestine” forced the Obama administration reluctantly to cut off funding in compliance with U.S. laws. Read

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

U.S. Re-Elected to UNESCO Board Two Days After Funding Cutoff

The United States was re-elected to the Executive Board of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday, two days after agency’s admission of “Palestine” forced the Obama administration reluctantly to cut off funding in compliance with U.S. laws. Read

Will Israel Strike Iran? Speculation Fed by Looming Report on Iran’s Nuclear Activities

The possibility of an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities has become the subject of growing media speculation in Israel, fed in part by comments from some political leaders. Read

Hollywood Studio Faces Boycott Call Over Chinese Human Rights Dispute

A row over a Hollywood film studio’s collaboration with a Chinese city administration accused of rights violations threatened to deepen Tuesday as an advocacy group called for a boycott of the movie being filmed there. Read

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Palestinians Eye Membership in Other UN Agencies After Success With UNESCO

Monday’s vote by the United Nations’ cultural agency to admit “Palestine” looks set to break a logjam that will see a raft of other U.N. agencies follow suit – and risk losing U.S. funding in the process. Read