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Daily International News 12.15.09

December 15, 2009

Daily International News
December 15, 2009

Happy One Week Until Christmas!!

Copenhagen
Russia, U.S. may ink nuclear deal at climate talks
[Reuters]
“Russia and the United States may sign an agreement to replace the START nuclear weapons treaty during the Copenhagen climate change summit, a Russian source familiar with the summit plans told Reuters on Tuesday.”

US-China showdown looms over climate talks [AP]
“A showdown between the world’s two largest polluters loomed over the U.N. climate talks Tuesday as China accused the United States and other rich nations of backsliding on their commitments to fight global warming.”

Brown to join climate talks two days early [Reuters]
“Prime Minister Gordon Brown will join climate talks in Copenhagen two days ahead of schedule to try to help overcome obstacles blocking a deal, his spokesman said on Monday.”

DPRK
N. Korea’s security minister visits China: KCNA
[Yonhap]
“A delegation led by Ju Sang-song, head of the North’s Ministry of People’s Security, left Pyongyang for China by air…The report did not explain details of the trip, such as the purpose and the length of the visit, or who Ju will meet in China.”

U.S. scientists leave Pyongyang after talks on academic cooperation [Yonhap]
“The six-member delegation from the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), led by Peter Agre, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, had traveled to Pyongyang on a mission to explore future opportunities for collaborative research activities in various fields.”

Japan/China
Japan likely to further delay Futenma decision
[Asahi]
“According to participants, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano proposed that a decision be made by May next year.”

China, Japan build ties amid dispute [China Daily]
“Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who shouldered huge domestic pressure for a meeting between visiting Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping and Japanese Emperor Akihito, said yesterday he “earned the chance” to deepen ties with Beijing.”

China
China says Uighur asylum seekers are criminals
[AP]
“China on Tuesday warned the United Nations refugee program not to be a “haven for criminals” as it signaled it wanted the return of 22 Muslim Uighurs who fled to Cambodia after deadly ethnic rioting this summer.”

China rejects calls to free dissident Liu Xiaobo [BBC]
“China has rejected calls from the US and the EU to release a prominent dissident as “unacceptable”.”

China, Kazakhstan set to sign nuclear agreement [China Daily]
“The unnamed source with ties to the government said the two countries had originally planned to sign the agreement during President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the Central Asian country.”

Middle East
Israel: British arrest warrant threatens ties
[AP]
“An arrest warrant issued in Britain against Israel’s former foreign minister was a “diplomatic offense” against the country, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday.”

Iranian jailed in US for arms trafficking plot [BBC]
“An Iranian man has been jailed for five years in the US after admitting plotting to procure and smuggle arms to Iran, prosecutors say.”

Abbas sticks by terms for talks, rules out violence [Reuters]
“President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday the Palestinians would only resume peace talks if Israel fully halted settlement building in the occupied West Bank, but ruled out any return to violence.”

Obama presses Lebanon to crack down on arms smuggling to Hezbollah [Haaretz]
“Obama said after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman at the White House that there had been some progress in enforcing a United Nations Security Council resolution banning such shipments, but more needed to be done.”

AfPak
Karzai in anti-graft speech defends convicted mayor
[Reuters]
“Afghan President Hamid Karzai used a keynote anti-corruption speech on Tuesday to defend the most senior of his officials to be convicted of graft in years, a move that could anger Western backers who demand more accountability.”

Suicide blast kills 22 in crowded Pakistani market [AP]
“The blast in the Punjabi town of Dera Ghazi Khan was the latest in a series of attacks by Taliban militants avenging an army offensive against insurgents in the northwest. More than 500 people have been killed.”

Europe
Abkhazia says Nauru recognizes its independence
[AP]
“Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia on Tuesday won recognition by the South Pacific island nation of Nauru, one of the world’s smallest states.”

Attack on Berlusconi ‘premeditated’ [BBC]
“An attack on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday was premeditated, Italy’s interior minister, Roberto Maroni, has said.”

British Airways in legal challenge to strike [BBC]
“British Airways is to take legal action to try to prevent a cabin crew strike set to begin on 22 December.”

Domestic
U.S. to announce transfer of detainees to Ill. prison
[WP]
“Dozens of terrorism suspects being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be moved to a little-used Illinois state prison that will be acquired and upgraded by the federal government.”

Chicago terrorism case widens [LAT]
“U.S. authorities say two men accused of plotting an attack in Denmark knew about the rampage in India.”

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