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NEWS: Afternoon Int’l News Roundup 10.21.09

October 21, 2009

Lots this morning going on…enjoy!

East Asia

N. Korea ‘more lethal’ as it continues nuclear pursuit, proliferation: Gates [Yonhap]

“The threat posed by North Korea has become “more lethal and destabilizing” as the country continues to pursue nuclear arms and missiles while spreading related knowledge, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.”

Gates pushes Japan on U.S. troop shift plan [Reuters]

“It is time to move on,” Gates said at a news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa after they held talks on alliance issues. “This may not be the perfect alternative for anyone, but it is the best alternative for everyone.”

China: Detainees ‘Disappeared’ After Xinjiang Protests [HRW]

“The Chinese government should immediately account for all detainees in its custody and allow independent investigations into the July 2009 protests in Urumqi and their aftermath, Human Rights Watch said in a new report on enforced “disappearances” released today.”

China’s army to recruit 130,000 college grads [Reuters]

Hijacked Chinese bulk carrier heading northwest [Xinhua]

Gitmo

Supreme Court to hear Uighurs’ case [NYT]

“The Supreme Court set aside the objections of the Obama administration and said Tuesday that it will consider whether judges have the power to release Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States if they have been deemed not to be “enemy combatants.” LA Times Coverage

AfPak

Afghan president’s rival accepts Nov. 7 runoff [WP]

“The runner-up in Afghanistan’s election agreed on Wednesday to a second round of voting, a day after President Hamid Karzai conceded that widespread fraud erased his first-round majority.”

Kerry Wins Obama’s Praise for Brokering Afghan Election Runoff [WSJ]

Afghan poll fraud officials fired [BBC]

“Earlier Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the BBC the UN wanted 200 top poll officials who were complicit in fraud replaced to make the vote credible.”

Pakistan Closes Schools, Colleges After Twin Bombings [WSJ]

“Pakistan closed schools nationwide for five days after suicide bombers struck a university in the capital, a step that may further erode public tolerance for the country’s Islamic militant movement.”

Pakistan hits Taliban; urges NATO to seal border [Reuters]

“Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban bases near the Afghan border on Wednesday as the army urged NATO forces to seal the frontier to stem cross-border movement of militants.”

Israel/Palestine

Israel hardens stance on U.N. Gaza report [WP]

Israel hardened its opposition Tuesday to international calls for an independent inquiry into its offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, saying it would urge the United States to stop the issue from advancing at the United Nations.”

Palestinian president to set Jan. election date [AP]
“Mahmoud Abbas told journalists in Cairo he will set the date in a presidential decree Sunday.
Hamas, which wants the voting delayed, dismissed Abbas’ announcement as an attempt to pressure the group into an agreement to end a bitter two-year division between the two sides that has interfered with peace talks with Israel and hampered reconstruction of war damage in Gaza.”

Middle East

Diplomats: Iranian negotiators back uranium deal [AP]

“Iranian negotiators on Wednesday expressed support for a deal that – if accepted by their leaders – would delay Tehran’s ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of its existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing, diplomats said.”

Iran, powers have till Friday to OK nuclear deal [Reuters] The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Wednesday presented a draft deal to Iran and three world powers for approval within two days to reduce Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, seen by the West as a nuclear weapons risk.”

EU/UK

Poland ready to accept new US missile defense deal [AP]

“Standing alongside U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Poland’s prime minister said Wednesday his country was ready to participate in the Obama administration’s revamped plan for a U.S. missile defense shield in Europe.”

UK lawyer says Lockerbie bomber still alive [AP]

“Sky News television reported Wednesday that the former Libyan intelligence agent had died, but lawyer Tony Kelly said the report was incorrect.”

British-chartered plane takes Afghan migrants home [Guardian]

“Flight takes off from Paris as joint immigration crackdown prompts anger in France.”

EU states downgraded in press freedom index [EU Observer]

“Press freedom in several European countries has eroded dramatically in the past year, particularly in Slovakia, Italy and Bulgaria, according to an annual index released on Tuesday (20 October) by NGO Reporters Without Borders.”

Africa

Ecowas Suspends Niger Republic [AllAfrica]

Americas

Police say total 29 dead in Rio drug violence [Reuters]

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