Archive for March, 2010

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Daily International News 03.29.10

March 29, 2010

Daily International News
March 29, 2010

North Korea
N. Korea slams U.N. resolution to maintain special human rights envoy
[Yonhap]

Seoul watching for signs of N. Korean leader’s possible visit to China
[Yonhap]
N. Korea’s No.2 leader to visit three African nations
[Yonhap]
North Koreans Use Cellphones to Bare Secrets
[NYT]

China
China struggles with stance on nuclear power as summit nears
[WaPo]

Ericsson announces $1.8bn China deals
[BBC]
Rio Tinto executives handed lengthy jail terms
[BBC]
Dissident’s wife pleas for China to let him leave
[AP]

Southeast Asia
Suu Kyi’s NLD party to boycott Burma election
[BBC]

Thai PM rebuffs demands for dissolving parliament
[Reuters]
Some in Indonesia praise, seek to replicate China’s fight against United States
[WaPo]

Central/South Asia
Obama, in Kabul, Presses Karzai to Root Out Government Corruption
[Bloomberg]
Pakistan court maintains curbs on AQ Khan
[AP]

Middle East
Turkey gets Clinton pledge on genocide resolution
[Reuters]

Netanyahu Pushed by Coalition Partner, U.S. to Curb Home Plan
[Bloomberg]
Israeli minister says U.S. boosts Arab hardliners
[Reuters]

Europe
Moscow Metro hit by deadly suicide bombings
[BBC]

Africa
Somalis in rare march against al-Shabab militants
[BBC]

Domestic
Seven arrested in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group
[Detroit News]
NYC, DC Beef Up Transit Security Over Moscow Blast
[AP]

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Daily International News 03.26.10

March 26, 2010

Daily International News
March 26, 2010

East Asia
NKorea threatens ‘nuclear strikes’ on SKorea, US
[AP]
Chinese companies debate links with Google
[FT]
China steams ahead on clean energy
[BBC]
Japan finalizing US base relocation proposal [AP]
Japan PM admits mistakes, asks voters for patience
[Reuters]

Southeast Asia
UN calls for Burma elections to be credible
[BBC]

Middle East
Iraq to release full results from March 7 vote
[AP]
Israel to continue building in east Jerusalem
[AP]

Africa
Rwanda opposition politician jailed for genocide
[BBC]
Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai rejects gay rights move
[BBC]
‘No evidence’ WFP’s Somalia food aid diverted
[BBC]

Europe
Deal reached over Greece debts at Brussels summit
[BBC]
Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer
[NYT]
Russian bombers ‘intercepted in British airspace’
[CNN]

Americas
Jailers: 40 inmates escape in Mexican border
[AP]
Chávez Critic Is Arrested, Then Freed, in Venezuela
[NYT]

Domestic
U.S. Congress approves final healthcare changes
[Reuters]
US official: Treaty cuts nuclear weapons by fourth
[AP]
Bullet that hit Va. congressman’s office random
[AP]

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Culture of Mutual Validation: AIPAC Policy Convention 2010

March 25, 2010

This past week, DC’s otherwise morbidly silent Convention Center saw the influx of over 7500 conference attendees. The agenda included rousing speeches by pastors, multiple standing ovations, and much raising of hands in the praise of speakers. But no, this was not an assemblage of self-help or a burgeoning baptist conclave. It was the 2010 American Israel Public Affair Committee Policy Convention. Speakers at the event included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as well as Jewish and non-Jewish pro-Israel lobbyists.

Outside the Convention Center, it was business as usual for the annual AIPAC Conference. Code Pink, an outspoken, anti-war women’s group that grew out of a desire to oppose former President GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq, made a new name for itself as the most creative group of the pro-peace movement. Starting its Monday morning by issuing a fake AIPAC press release calling on the cessation of all settlement building in East Jerusalem, they continued by fashioning themselves as apartment buildings – in case we all forgot the recent contentious announcement by the Israeli government to build a spate of housing units on the current site of the Shepherd’s Hotel in a predominantly Arab neighborhood.

But inside the Center, recent tensions in the US-Israel relationship colored the Convention. Speakers rallied behind the indelible US-Israel relationship. Even Secretary Clinton stated that the U.S. “commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever.” But Clinton combined praise of the relationship with further condemnation of settlement construction, stating that she has always stood by “the longstanding American policy that does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlements.  As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed.” And just a few hours later, Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t do himself any favors when he stayed intransigent on settlements, stating”the Jews have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years,” adding, “Jerusalem is not a Jewish settlement.”

And in the press pit, where yours truly was stationed for much of the action, the confusion continued. Stalwart champions for journalistic impartiality were stunned to see other members of the Fourth Estate jumping to their feet in praise of speakers condemnations of Palestinian “agression” and even a few waiving US, Israeli, and yes, even British flags to correspond to different speakers national loyalties. At the end of the day (literally, as Bibi’s speech started late and went long), the display was enough to surprise and, more than anything, tire any seemingly unbiased journalist into submission.

Obviously, this was a Convention of pro-Israel lobbyists. So one might ask, why be surprised by the overt displays of partiality among press and crowd? Isn’t  a complacent and unquestioning support of all Israeli government actions part of parcel of being a pro-Israel lobby? But, if one takes newly formed and much less funded J-Street as a comparison point, I think that question answers itself.

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Daily International News 03.24.10

March 24, 2010

Daily International News
March 24, 2010

Japan
Japan’s exports up 45 percent in February
[AP]

North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il ‘has chronic kidney failure’ [AFP]
Resistance against N. Korean regime taking root, survey suggests
[WaPo] – from East-West Center Report

China
Google’s decision signals change in Western businesses’ approach to China
[WaPo]
From 03.23 Stance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing [NYT]
China-Australia gas deal as Rio Tinto trial ends
[AP]
China CEOs Join Obama in Supporting Yuan Appreciation (Update2)
[Bloomberg]

Middle East
Israel approves new building in east Jerusalem
[AP]
Saudi Arabia: World must intervene with ‘arrogant’ Israel
[Haaretz]
Iraq’s Kurds could lose some of their influence to anti-American Sadr movement
[WaPo]
Dead Palestinian militant clouds peace efforts
[AP]

Central/South Asia
Pakistan seeks better US ties
[Al Jazeera]
Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea
[AP]

Africa
Private guards kill Somali pirate for first time
[AP]
Nigeria acting leader names cabinet nominees
[Reuters]

Europe
Irish bishop resigns, apologizes to abuse victims
[AP]
Germany says IMF must help pay for Greece
[DW]
Sarkozy vows not to slacken reforms after poll loss
[Reuters]
French PM signals end to carbon tax plan
[Reuters]

Americas
U.S. and Mexico Revise Joint Antidrug Strategy
[NYT]

Domestic
Obama to Push Health Plan After Signing Landmark Bill Into Law
[Bloomberg]
Calorie Data to Be Posted at Most Chains
[NYT]

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BREAKING NEWS: Google.cn Changed to Google.com.hk

March 22, 2010

A new approach to China: an update [FROM GOOGLE BLOG]

3/22/2010 12:03:00 PM

On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

Permalink



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Daily International News 03.22.10

March 22, 2010

And see my twitter feed @lmcgaughy for live quotes from AIPAC Policy Conference events.

Daily International News
March 22, 2010

East Asia
NKorea to try American for illegal entry
[AP]
Google set to announce China site closure
[FT]
Rio Tinto Employees Say They Took Bribes in China
[NYT]

Israel/Palestine
Tensions rise as Israeli soldiers kill 2 Palestinians
[LAT]
US urges restraint from Israel, Palestinians
[AP]
Israeli prime minister in Washington for talks
[AP]
Clinton: Israeli building hurts peace
[AP]

(Other) Middle East
EU slams Iran’s jamming of satellite signals as ‘unacceptable’
[DW]
Iran detains grandson of powerful cleric
[AP]
Egypt frees Israeli journalist arrested at border
[AP]
Poll body rejects Iraq recount call

Central Asia
Karzai meets envoys of Taliban-linked group
[AP]

Africa
Tanzania, Zambia bid for one-off ivory sales fail [AP]
Darfur donor conference falls short of expectations
[AFP]

Europe
UK Supreme Court considers prenuptial agreements
[AP]
German diocese say 6 accused over abuse
[AP]
French President Sarkozy ‘to reshuffle’ after poll
[BBC]

Americas
Mexican Traffickers Sow Chaos With Blockades
[NYT]

Domestic
House approves huge changes to student loan program
[WaPo]

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Daily International News 03.19.10

March 19, 2010

Daily International News
March 19, 2010

East Asia
Top Chinese, ROK diplomats exchange views on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue
[Xinhua]
Cambodian bans women from marrying South Koreans
[AP]
Rio Tinto signs mining deal with China’s Chinalco
[BBC]
Ridiculous logic of politicizing Chinese yuan exchange rate
[Xinhua]

South Asia
Pakistan arrests halt secret UN contacts with Taliban
[BBC]
India wants to question U.S. man on Mumbai attack
[Reuters]

Middle East Peace Process
Clinton Calls Israel’s Moves to Ease Tension ‘Useful’
[NYT]
Diplomats urge resumption of Mideast talks
[AP]
U.S. to send envoy back to Mideast as Israel moves to smooth relations
[WaPo]
Opinion: Needed: a peaceful anti-Netanyahu uprising [Times of London]

Middle East
Powell Says New Sanctions on Iran Won’t Stop Nuclear Program
[Bloomberg]
Iran’s Opposition Seeks More Help in Cyberwar With Government
[NYT]
Iran jails former vice president, reform activist
[AP]
Yemen declares end to war with Shi’ite rebels
[Reuters]

Europe
Clinton to Meet Putin After Urging Iran Plant Delay
[Bloomberg]
Clinton says agreement with Russia near on nukes
[AP]
Dutch fuming at retired US general’s gays comment
[AP]
Bomb damages right wing-group’s Athens office
[Reuters]

Africa
Nigeria: Ghaddafi – Govt Recalls Ambassador From Libya
[AllAfrica]

Americas
Raids Aim to Find Killers of 3 in Mexico
[NYT]

Domestic
Obama cancellation accepted by Australia and Indonesia
[BBC]
Senators announce framework for bipartisan immigration bill
[LAT]
Retired general links gays in military, Bosnian massacre
[CNN]