Archive for December, 2009

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Swedish Amb Raised Detained AmCit in DPRK?

December 30, 2009

KCNA reports Mats Foyer [Swedish Amb. to DPRK] gave KJI a floral basket in honor of new year – did he also mention detained AmCit Park? [see KCNA report below]

Congratulations to Kim Jong Il from Foreign Diplomats

Pyongyang, December 30 (KCNA) — Leader Kim Jong Il received a floral basket and a congratulatory letter from the diplomatic corps here on the occasion of the New Year.

They were handed over to Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun by Mats Foyer, Swedish ambassador to the DPRK who is doyen of the corps, on Wednesday.

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Daily International News 12.30.09

December 30, 2009

First – a great NYT piece on 10 years of reader’s photographs @ Documenting the Decade.

Daily International News
December 30, 2009

DPRK
North Korea Said to Be Looting Heavy Equipment
[NYT – JoongAng Ilbo original reporting]

Japan
Japan Unveils New Plan for Growth
[NYT]

China
China downplays execution
[Global Times]

Burma
UK’s Brown pledges support to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi
[BBC]
Rohingya to be sent back to Myanmar
[Al Jazeera]

AfPak
China Willing to Spend Big on Afghan Commerce
[NYT]

Iran
As standoff with Iran continues, U.S. prepares targeted sanctions
[WaPo]

Israel/Palestine
Hamas sees more prisoner swap talks with Israel
[Reuters]
Signs of movement seen in stalled Mideast process
[Reuters]

Iraq
British hostage in Iraq freed after over 2 years
[AP]
Bombs kill 23 in Iraq’s western Anbar province
[AP]

Africa
Somali arrested at airport with chemicals, syringe [AP]

Europe
Body scanners to be used at Dutch airport
[BBC]
Russia may send spacecraft to knock away asteroid
[AP]

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Daily International News 12.29.09

December 29, 2009

Daily International News
12.29.09

DPRK
North Korea Detains U.S. Activist
[WSJ] – see KCNA article below

Japan
U.S. concerned about new Japanese premier Hatoyama
[WaPo]
Standoff over US base closure sours US-Japan ties
[AP]
Japan mulls selling India nuke power tech
[China Daily]

China
China Executes Briton Despite Appeals for Mercy
[NYT]

Xinjiang back online, restrictions remain [China Daily]
China Finds $35 Billion in Fraud by Officials
[NYT]

Russia
U.S. missile shield holding up nuclear deal – Putin
[Reuters]
Vladimir Putin attacks US missile defence
[BBC]

AfPak
Attack Puts Afghan Leader and NATO at Odds
[NYT]

South/Southeast Asia
Thailand begins to return 4,000 Hmong asylum-seekers to Laos
[WaPo]
Bangladesh to send home thousands of Burmese refugees
[BBC]

Iran
Iran Lashes Out at West Over Protests
[NYT] and Iran’s Ahmadinejad says opposition rallies a “masquerade” [Reuters]
Iran limits movements of an opposition leader
[AP]
Sister of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi ‘arrested in Iran’
[BBC]
WSJ Oped: The Tipping Point in Iran
[WSJ]

Israel/Palestine
Egypt FM: Netanyahu is serious about renewing peace talks
[Haaretz]
Israeli warplanes fly over Lebanon
[Reuters]
Israeli police arrest nuclear whistleblower Vanunu
[Reuters]

Yemen
Yemen terror camps attract ‘stream of Britons’
[Guardian]
Western counter-terrorism help ‘not enough for Yemen’
[BBC]

Europe
Suspect package triggers bomb scare at Milan airport
[Reuters]
Woman found dead in Vienna diplomat’s residence
[Reuters]

Africa
Three Saudi tourists killed in Niger attack – officials
[BBC]
Somali Pirates Seize a Tanker and a Cargo Ship
[NYT]

Domestic
Health Lobby Takes Fight to the States
[NYT]
A Phrase Sets Off Sniping After a Crisis
[NYT] and Detroit scare sparks full-body scanners debate [Reuters]

Republican senator DeMint holds up nomination for TSA chief [WaPo]

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International Daily News 12.28.09

December 28, 2009

Daily International News
December 28, 2009

Iranian protestors pursue police - WaPo photo.

NE Asia
Activist: NKorea apparently detains US missionary
[AP]
Chinese tell British drug-smuggler Akmal Shaikh he will die tomorrow
[Times of London] and Relatives visit Briton on death row in China [AP]
Hijacked Chinese bulk carrier rescued
[Xinhua]
Mentally handicapped Chinese trafficked, killed – report
[Reuters]

Central/SE Asia
Vietnamese democracy advocate gets 5 years jail
[Reuters]
Thai move to kick out asylum-seekers angers West
[Reuters]
New form of malaria threatens Thai-Cambodia border
[AP]

AfPak
Bomb at Shi’ite procession in Pakistan kills 25 [Reuters]
Zardari WSJ Op-Ed
: ‘Democracy Is the Greatest Revenge.’

Middle East
Israel to build 700 apartments in east Jerusalem
[AP]
U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion
[NYT] and Yemen arrests 29 al Qaeda suspects after raids [Reuters]
Iran opposition figures arrested after protests
[BBC] and Pictures from the Protests [WaPo]
Abu Dhabi signs nuclear power deal with South Korean group
[The National]

Europe
Russia warns EU of oil cuts over Ukraine row
[Reuters]

Americas/Domestic
Plane suspect was listed in terror database after father alerted U.S. officials
[WaPo]
Democrats Say Final Health-Care Bill Will Look Like Senate’s
[WSJ]
Argentina puts officials on trial over the abuses of the ‘Dirty War’
[WaPo]

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Daily International News 12.22.09

December 22, 2009

Daily International News
December 22, 2009

DPRK
Talks on N. Korean nukes should resume before March: FM
[Yonhap]
“North Korea and regional powers should reopen their nuclear talks by the end of February if they want to salvage the often-troubled forum, South Korea’s foreign minister said Tuesday.”

S. Korea questioning seven N. Koreans found drifting in Yellow Sea [Yonhap]
“Seven North Koreans were being questioned by South Korean authorities on Tuesday after they were found drifting south of the Yellow Sea border, officials said.”

Koreas set to link modern military hot lines: officials [Yonhap]
“South and North Korea were poised Tuesday to link their military hot lines they have been working to modernize, an official in Seoul said, just a day after Pyongyang raised tension by declaring the western sea border its firing zone.”
Reactions to Copenhagen
China rejects UK claims it hindered Copenhagen talks
[BBC]
“China has dismissed claims made by a British minister that it “hijacked” efforts to reach an agreement at the climate summit in Copenhagen.”

South Africa blasts Copenhagen failure [AP]
“South Africa says Copenhagen’s failure to produce a legally binding climate change agreement was unacceptable, joining a global chorus of condemnation even though it helped draft the final accord.”

India ‘pleased’ with climate summit [BBC]
“Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told MPs that India had been able to resist pressure from the developed world to sign up to binding emission targets.”


Japan

Japan sets May deadline to resolve US base dispute
[AP]
“Japan aims to resolve a dispute with the United States over the relocation of an American military base on the southern island of Okinawa by May, the defense minister said Tuesday.”

Hatoyama support rate plummets [Japan Times]
“Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday the sharp dip in the public support rate for his administration, as shown in opinion polls over the weekend, means he must work harder.”
China
4th round of Taiwan trade talks underway with high hopes
[Global Times]
“The mainland’s chief negotiator for Taiwan affairs arrived in Taiwan Monday for a new round of high-level trade talks, while saying he respected people’s right to protest against his visit.”
Nepal
US stops aid to Nepal over human rights row
[Times of India]
“The US has passed a law that denies financial aid to the Nepal government, amid stepped up pressure on the country’s army to fulfill its human rights obligations, a news report has said.”
AfPak
NATO says no deadline for Afghan troop withdrawal
[Reuters]
“The head of NATO said on Tuesday there would be no deadline for the exit of allied troops from Afghanistan, as fears grow among Afghans that foreign forces will leave before their own troops are able to guarantee security.”


Israel/Palestine

Israel won’t pay “any price” to free soldier
[Reuters]
“Israel said on Tuesday it was not prepared to agree to all of Hamas’s demands in a German-mediated deal to exchange a captive Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.”

Abbas Says Palestinians Won’t Rise Up, for Now [WSJ]
“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there won’t be a new Palestinian uprising as long as he’s in office, but warned the current calm might end once he steps down, as early as June.”
Iran
Iran Nuclear Trigger Report a U.S. Forgery: Ahmadinejad
[ABC]
“A leaked memo appearing to show Tehran’s efforts to design an atomic bomb trigger was forged by the United States, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a U.S. news program.”

Ahmadinejad dismisses US deadline for nuclear deal [AP]
“Iran’s president on Tuesday dismissed a year-end deadline…for Tehran to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel, and claimed his government is now “10 times stronger” than a year ago.”

Iran says Iraq border incident a “misunderstanding” [Reuters]
“Iran on Tuesday described a border incident with Iraq, which caused oil prices to rise late last week, as a “misunderstanding” and called for experts from both countries to look into border demarcation issues.”


Europe

Serbia submits formal EU membership application
[DW]
“Serbia has submitted its formal application for membership of the European Union. President Boris Tadic flew to Stockholm to hand the application to Sweden, the current holders of the EU’s rotating presidency.”

Russia, U.S. plan unprecedented nuclear cut-Lavrov [Reuters]
“Russia and the United States plan unprecedented cuts to their Cold War arsenals of nuclear weapons under a new arms reduction deal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Tuesday.”

From 12/21 – Silvio Berlusconi bounces back in polls after attack [Times of London]
“Silvio Berlusconi’s approval ratings, which had slipped over the past six months because of sex scandals and corruption charges, have bounced back amid a wave sympathy for him after he was attacked in Milan a week ago.”
Africa
Guinea junta leader Camara should be tried – UN
[BBC]
“Guinea’s military leader should be charged with crimes against humanity over the killing of opposition protesters, a leaked UN report says.”

Mugabe, Tsvangirai agree on media, election bodies [Reuters]
“Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have agreed on commissions to drive media and electoral reforms, one of the key issues which has been threatening their power-sharing deal.”
Americas
Mexico City legalizes same-sex marriage, adoptions
[CNN]
“Mexico City, one of Latin America’s largest metropolises, on Monday legalized same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.”
Domestic
Cyber Chief Selected by Obama
[WSJ]
“Howard Schmidt will be named as White House cybersecurity coordinator after a search that began in May, when President Barack Obama announced the creation of the new post.”

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PolitiFact’s ‘The Obamameter’

December 21, 2009

PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.

So far he’s doing pretty well at 73 kept, 18 compromised, 9 broken, 35 stalled, 198 in the works and 180 unrated. I don’t remember him making THAT many campaign promises!

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Daily International News 12.21.09 (and some from the weekend)

December 21, 2009

Daily International News
December 21, 2009

Yours truly in front of the White House during Saturday's snow 'storm'!


DPRK

Arms Seized by Thailand Were Iran-Bound
[WSJ]
North Korea Threatens to Fire Into Disputed Waters
[NYT]

(Other) Asia
Nepal Crippled as Strike Enters Second Day
[NYT]
Court to Hear Suu Kyi’s Appeal
[Irrawaddy]
Tribunal charges Khmer Rouge “First Lady” with genocide
[Reuters]

AfPak
Some Afghan Lawmakers Criticize Karzai’s Cabinet Picks
[WSJ]

Iran
Iran cleric’s funeral turns to opposition protest [AP]
Iran nuclear negotiator calls for atomic arms ban
[AP]
From 12/20 – Iran-Iraq Standoff Over Oil Field Ends [NYT]

(Other) Middle East
Israel close to deciding on prisoner swap
[AP]
From 12/20 – Israel threatens to use force against settlers [AP]
From 12/20 –Lebanon PM Hariri meets Syrian leader Assad [BBC]

Europe
Polish Police Find Auschwitz Sign
[WSJ]

Americas
US envoy visits Zelaya at Brazilian embassy
[AFP]
Colombia to Build Military Bases on Venezuela Border
[LAHT]

Domestic
Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate With 60 Votes
[NYT]
A dozen Gitmo detainees sent to 3 countries
[CNN]
From 12/19 – U.S. holds 3 in alleged narcoterrorism case [WP]