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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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