Posts Tagged ‘copenhagen’

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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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Daily International News 12.17.09

December 17, 2009

Daily International News
December 17, 2009

DPRK
France Decides to Establish Its Office in DPRK [KCNA]

“As already reported, Jack Lang, special envoy of the French president, had a consultation with the DPRK side on the issue of developing the bilateral relations and a series of matters of mutual concern during his visit to the DPRK from November 9, 2009 to 13. The French side informed the DPRK that it decided to establish the French Cooperation and Cultural Action Office in Pyongyang as a step of the first phase for normalizing the relations between the two countries according to the results of his visit to the DPRK. The DPRK consented to France’s opening of the office in Pyongyang, proceeding from the stand to boost the relations with France.”

Thais: US tip led to seizure of arms from NKorea [AP]
“Thai authorities were acting on a tip from the United States when they seized tons of illicit weapons from a plane from North Korea, a senior official said Thursday.”

N. Korean leader makes rare visit to trade zone, stresses export growth [Yonhap]
“North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has visited Rason, a northern port city that the country is developing into a trade hub, where he gave guidelines on increasing exports, state media said Thursday.”

NKorea threatens SKorea over naval drills [AP]
“North Korea threatened retaliation against South Korea over what it claimed were naval drills around their disputed sea border, accusing Seoul on Thursday of attempting to escalate tension.”

China
China Imposes New Internet Controls
[NYT]

“China’s government censors have taken fresh aim at the Internet, rolling out new measures that limit ordinary citizens’ ability to set up personal Web sites and to view hundreds of other Web sites offering films, video games [etc].”

Copenhagen
U.S. pledges billions; China says climate pact is doubtful
[WP]
“Clinton warned that China — which has resisted attempts for international verification of emission cuts and told officials here before Clinton spoke that a global pact seems unlikely — must agree to monitoring if a deal is to reached.”

Obama heads to Copenhagen as climate talks falter [Reuters]
“U.S. President Barack Obama heads to Copenhagen on Thursday to help secure a U.N. climate pact, staking his credibility on an as yet elusive deal that has ramifications for him at home and on the world stage.”

AfPak
Afghan ministers on ‘graft’ list
[Al Jazeera]
“The list, released on the final day of a three-day anti-corruption conference, includes five senior members within the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said Hashem Ahelbarra, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Kabul.”

U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai [NYT]
“As widespread fraud in the Afghanistan presidential election was becoming clear three months ago, the No. 2 United Nations official in the country, the American Peter W. Galbraith, proposed enlisting the White House in a plan to replace the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, according to two senior United Nations officials.”

Pakistan Strikes Down Amnesty for Politicians [NYT]
“The Supreme Court struck down a controversial amnesty on Wednesday that had dismissed corruption allegations against thousands of Pakistan’s politicians, including President Zardari, effectively restoring the cases against them.”

Pakistan Reported to Be Harassing U.S. Diplomats [NYT]
“Parts of the Pakistani military and intelligence services are mounting what American officials here describe as a campaign to harass American diplomats.”

Intel officials: US missiles kill 17 in Pakistan [AP]
“Two suspected U.S. missile strikes, one using multiple drones, killed 17 people in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border Thursday, local intelligence officials said.”

Middle East
Haaretz exclusive: Olmert’s plan for peace with the Palestinians
[Haaretz]
“Former prime minister Ehud Olmert proposed giving the Palestinians land from communities bordering the Gaza Strip and from the Judean Desert nature reserve in exchange for settlement blocs in the West Bank.”

Yemeni security forces exterminate al-Qaeda [Yemen Today]
“A group of 34 al-Qaeda members were killed and 17 others were arrested by special operations in Abyan province, Sana’a city, and Arhab, implemented by the Yemeni security forces said an official statement on Thursday.”

Europe
Nato fails to gain Russia aid in Afghanistan [BBC]
“On Wednesday Mr Rasmussen asked Moscow to provide helicopters to Afghanistan and also requested Russian help in training the Afghan air force. But he told the BBC he had received no positive response from the Kremlin.”

Russian FM: US-Russian arms deal not ready [AP]
“Sergey Lavrov said disagreements over such issues during the past few days had slowed efforts to reach a deal, and he agreed with the White House’s assessment that President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are not expected to sign a nuclear weapons treaty when they travel to Copenhagen this week.”

España tendrá más de 1.500 soldados en Afganistán en 2010 – “Spain will have more than 1500 soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010” [El Pais]
“España aumentará en más del 50% su actual contingente permanente en Afganistán que en 2010 sobrepasará los 1.500 militares.” – “Spain will increase its permanent contingent in Afghanistan by more than 50% in 2010, surpassing 1500 soldiers…”

Silvio Berlusconi leaves hospital with bandaged nose [Times of London]
“Doctors say that the normally ebullient Mr Berlusconi is still in pain and having difficulty eating. There are fears for the long-term impact of the attack on his morale.”

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Daily International News 12.16.09

December 16, 2009

Daily International News
December 16, 2009

DPRK
AP source: Obama writes letter to NKorean leader [AP]
“Washington’s recent bid to persuade North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament negotiations included a personal letter to leader Kim Jong Il written by President Barack Obama, a senior U.S. official said.”

Thailand prepares to destroy N.Korean weapons haul [Global Times]
“The Thai government said Tuesday it would ask the UN for money to destroy a cache of sanctions-busting weapons seized from a plane that took off from North Korea.”

N. Korea’s nominal leader meets with U.S. businessmen [Yonhap]
“North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, held talks with a group of visiting U.S. businessmen in Pyongyang on Wednesday, state media said.”

N.K. told Bosworth that U.N. sanctions are unreasonable: Seoul FM [Yonhap]
“North Korea apparently told a visiting U.S. envoy that international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its long-range rocket launch were unreasonable, insisting the launch was for non-military purposes, Seoul’s top diplomat said Wednesday.”

East Asia
Japan can meet deadline for relocating U.S. base in Okinawa: Hatoyama [Kyodo]
“PM Hatoyama said Wednesday that Japan can still meet the 2014 deadline for relocating a U.S. military base in Okinawa despite the government putting off a decision on the issue and deciding to seek an alternative site to the one previously agreed.”

Japan enters high-speed train sales race [AP]
“JR Central, one of the operators created when Japan privatized its railways in 1987, is leading the charge in the U.S., but is also taking a risky winner-takes-all approach.”

Nuclear Power Expansion in China Stirs Concerns [NYT]
China is preparing to build three times as many nuclear power plants in the coming decade as the rest of the world combined, a breakneck pace with the potential to help slow global warming.”

China begins work on world’s longest cross-sea bridge [BBC]
“China has begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province, China’s main manufacturing hub, with Hong Kong and Macau.”

S/SE Asia
Philippines arrests alleged militant wanted by US
[WP]
“Latip has been charged in the United States with the 1993 kidnapping of linguist and Christian missionary Charles Walton by the Abu Sayyaf militant group on a southern Philippine island, Diaz said.”

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi in rare talks with party elders [AFP]
“Myanmar’s junta allowed detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to meet with three elderly senior members of her party Wednesday in a rare concession by the military regime.”

Middle East
Iran missile test draws Western condemnation
[Reuters]
“The United States said the launch of a Sejil 2 missile, with a reported range that would put the Jewish state and U.S. Gulf bases within reach, undermined Iran’s insistence of peaceful intentions and would be looked upon seriously by the world.” [Press TV Iran tests new Sejjil-2 missile with success]

House votes to expand sanctions on Iran [AP]
“The legislation, approved 412-12, would end access to U.S. markets for foreign companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran or helping that country develop its petroleum capacity.”

PLO keeps Abbas as Palestinian president [Reuters]
“PLO Central Council members said Abbas, whose tenure ends on January 25, will remain in his post until elections can be held, extending until further notice the term of the Western-backed leader who heads the Ramallah-based PA.”

Abbas says peace deal possible in 6 months [AP]
“A comprehensive peace deal can be reached between Israel and the Palestinians within six months if Israel completely freezes its settlement construction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published Wednesday.”

Europe
British premier says Livni welcome
[AP]
“Livni’s office says the British premier phoned her Wednesday afternoon and said he intends to act to change a law that allows non-citizens to be brought before British courts.”

Man Arrested Trying to Enter Berlusconi’s Hospital Room [NYT]
“Three days after an attack…PM Silvio Berlusconi was at the center of another bizarre episode Wednesday when police arrested a man who entered the hospital where he is being treated at around 2 a.m., ostensibly to talk to him.”

Americas
Calderón Proposes Ballot-Law Overhaul
[WSJ]
“The proposals, which have to pass the opposition-dominated Congress, would establish a 2nd-round vote for presidential elections, cut the number of seats in Congress and allow federal lawmakers and local officials to be re-elected.”

START
US and Russia close in on nuclear treaty
[Guardian]
“Obama and Medvedev could sign agreement on nuclear arms reduction on margins of Copenhagen summit this week.”

Copenhagen
Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests
[NYT]
“The agreement for the program, if signed as expected, may turn out to be the most significant achievement to come out of the Copenhagen climate talks.”

Police hold 230 as climate protesters storm barricades [Reuters]
“Danish police detained 230 people on Wednesday as protesters stormed barricades around a global climate summit and a handful briefly broke through, witnesses and a police spokesman said.”

”]
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Daily International News 12.14.09

December 14, 2009

Daily International News
December 14, 2009

Copenhagen
Talks Stall as Poorer Nations Threaten to Walk Out
[NYT]

“Jairam Ramesh, the chief negotiator for India, said that the Group of 77 developing countries had staged the temporary walkout because their representatives had grown frustrated with how conference leaders had been conducting negotiations.”

DPRK
U.S. envoy says no timetable yet for North Korea talks
[Reuters]
“The U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Monday no timetable had been set for talks on nuclear disarmament with the isolated state to resume.”

Delegation of American Businessmen Here [KCNA]
“A delegation of U.S. businessmen headed by General Charles Boyd, president and CEO of the “BENS” (Business Executives for National Security), arrived here by air on Monday.”

Thailand to Hold Crew That Was Transporting Weapons [NYT]
“Five crew members of an aircraft carrying weapons from North Korea were denied bail here Monday and ordered held for at least 12 days while the police investigate the origin and destination of the mysterious shipment of arms.”

S. Korean nuke envoy to visit Russia this week [Yonhap]
“Wi Sung-lac, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will visit Russia from Dec. 16 till Dec. 19,” ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.”

China
Chinese, Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek presidents unveil gas pipeline
[China Daily]
“With their hands on wheel of valves, President Hu and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Islam Karimov turned on the flow of natural gas together in the gas plant on the right bank of the AmuDarya River.”

Burma
U.N. Says Opium Trade Is Expanding in Myanmar
[NYT]
“The United Nations warned on Monday that drug control measures were “unraveling” in Myanmar with opium farming in the country expanding for the third consecutive year.”

AfPak
Pakistan Bars Deportation of Detained Americans
[NYT]
“Five Muslim American men arrested in Pakistan last week cannot be deported to the United States until their case is reviewed, a Pakistani judge here ruled Monday.”

16 Afghan Police Killed In Taliban Attacks [Quqnoos]
“At least 16 Afghan policemen have been killed in two attacks on checkpoints in Afghanistan’s north and south.”

Middle East
Detained Americans to Be Tried in Iran: Minister
[ABC]
“Three U.S. citizens detained in Iran and charged with espionage will stand trial, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday.”

Abu Dhabi rescues Dubai with $10-billion bailout [LAT]
“Abu Dhabi rescued debt-ridden Dubai today with a $10-billion bailout package that lifted world financial markets but left unclear how the glittering emirate by the sea would recover from nervous investors and a troubled real estate market.”

Taiwan probes reports of nuclear-linked sales to Iran [Reuters]
“The Economic Ministry’s Import and Export Administration pledged the investigation due in part to a report in the London Daily Telegraph that said Iran had set up a nuclear-equipment smuggling network using Taiwan companies.”

From 12/13 Washington ‘rejects Iran uranium swap offer’ [Press TV]

From 12/12 Iran offers to swap 400 kilos of LEU on Kish for atomic fuel [AFP] “We are ready to continue dialogue with the permanent-five-plus-one,” Mottaki said.”

Europe
Silvio Berlusconi recovering after Milan statue attack
[Guardian]
“The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will stay in hospital for at least one more day after being hit in the face when a statuette of Milan cathedral was thrown at him during a political rally yesterday.”

EU Calls for Tax on Global Financial Transactions [Der Spiegel]
“European Union leaders are calling for a new tax on global financial transactions as protection against a future financial crisis. But the idea has little chance against US opposition.”

Americas
Piñera Wins Plurality in Chile Vote, Will Face Frei in Runoff
[Latin American Herald Tribune]
“Rightist candidate Sebastian Piñera won a plurality in the Chilean presidential election on Sunday, and now will face off in a runoff with former President Eduardo Frei.”

Domestic
Obama to take bankers to task over lending, reforms
[Reuters]
“Obama, who has complained about “fat cat bankers” taking big bonuses, will use the meeting to press the firms to expand their lending to small businesses and to stop trying to thwart legislation to overhaul the financial regulatory system.”

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Daily International News 12.11.09

December 11, 2009

Daily International News
December 11, 2009

DPRK
N.K., U.S. positive about recent talks: KCNA
[Yonhap]
“North Korea said Friday that direct talks with the U.S. got off to a good start and that the two sides would continue efforts to narrow their differences over the resumption of the stalled six-party nuclear talks.” 

Japan
Futenma issue on hold at COP15
[Asahi]
“Prospects are dim for a summit meeting between Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the relocation of a Marine Corps airstrip in Okinawa’s Ginowan city anytime soon, government officials said.”

China
Nation rolls out steel tax on US
[China Daily]
“The Ministry of Commerce said Thursday on its website that US and Russian steelmakers must pay anti-dumping duties as high as 25 percent beginning today.”

China Indicts Prominent Dissident [NYT]
“Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s best-known dissidents and a principal author of a pro-democracy manifesto that has attracted more than 10,000 signatures from Chinese supporters, was indicted Thursday on charges of trying to subvert the state.”

Hundreds of China workers clash over factory site [Reuters]
“Twenty-six people were wounded when more than 300 Chinese workers battling for control of a factory site in Guangdong province clashed with explosives, rocks and steel pipes.”

Security on alert for island talks [China Daily]
“Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will hold their discussions from Dec 21-25 in the island city of Taichung.”

International Institutions
U.N. Afghan Mission Chief to Resign
[NYT]
“A United Nations spokesman, Dan McNorton, said in a statement that Mr. Eide’s “intention not to renew his contract” was in keeping with his plan when he took the job to stay for about two years.”

EU agrees climate pledge that may boost Copenhagen [BBC]
“EU leaders have agreed to pay 7.2bn euros (£6.5bn; $10.6bn) over the next three years to help developing nations adapt to climate change.” [WSJ Coverage – U.N. Draft Agreement Seeks to Halve CO2 Emissions By 2050]

Chinese official calls US negotiator irresponsible
[AP]
“In unusually blunt language, He said…”I don’t want to say the gentleman is ignorant…I think he lacks common sense where he made such a comment vis-a-vis funds for China. Either lack of common sense or extremely irresponsible.” [And China Daily – China refuted the idea of G2 in climate change]

AfPaK
US official: Pakistan expected to deport US youths
[AP]
“The official confirmed that U.S. diplomats in Pakistan visited the detainees on Friday for a second time…There was no immediate indication when the five might be returned to the United States.”

Middle East
Gates Expects New Sanctions on Iran
[NYT]
“I think you’re going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community,” Mr. Gates said during a question-and-answer session with American troops in Kirkuk.”

Fire attack on West Bank mosque [BBC]
“Attackers set fire to bookshelves and a large area of carpet in the mosque, and sprayed graffiti in Hebrew on a wall.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah appoints former aide as new PM [BBC]
“Samir al-Rifai will form a new cabinet in order to push through reforms that the king says are vital for Jordan’s economy before elections due next year. In November King Abdullah dissolved the parliament halfway through its four-year term.”

Europe
Romania’s court orders void votes re-examined
[WP]
“Losing candidate Mircea Geoana says his Social Democratic Party has evidence of ballot stuffing, multiple voting and widespread vote-buying, and has asked for new elections to be held.”

Russian policeman gets 2 years for killing reporter [Reuters]
“A policeman in Russia’s turbulent Ingushetia region was sentenced on Friday to two years in a low-security prison settlement for “unintentionally” shooting dead a prominent opposition reporter while in custody.”

Mafia boss denies link to Berlusconi associate [Reuters]
“A jailed Mafia boss told an Italian court on Friday he had never had ties with a close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, casting doubt on evidence from another mobster linking the prime minister to Cosa Nostra.”

Americas
Mercosur Refuses to Recognize Honduras Elections
[Latin American Herald Tribune]
“The presidents of the Mercosur trade bloc nations expressed their…“full non-recognition” of the new government that emerged from the Nov. 29 elections that Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and the US are supporting.”

Zelaya will leave Brazil Embassy by Jan. 27 [AP]
“Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya says he will leave the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras by Jan. 27, when his presidential term ends, according to an interview broadcast Friday.”

Domestic
Goldman scraps cash bonuses for 30 top executives
[FT]
“The 30 members of Goldman’s management committee will receive their entire 2009 bonus in stock awards that must be held for five years.”

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Daily International News 12.09.09

December 9, 2009

Daily International News
December 9, 2009

Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s political science
[WP]
Op-ed by Sarah Palin – “The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.”

Climate Conference Begins to Feel Pressure of the Clock [NYT]
“Two proposals popped loudly on Tuesday: a Danish text, seen by many observers to be mainly accommodating the interests of the United States and other industrialized powers; and one drafted by China and endorsed by a variety of developing countries. Both were criticized by the opposing camps.”

Japan
Japan to Give U.S. a Plan on Air Base
[NYT]
“Japan’s prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, said Wednesday that he wants to present concrete proposals [on Futenma] to President Obama next week… Mr. Hatoyama said he may seek a meeting with Mr. Obama during the climate change conference in Copenhagen to relay the proposals directly to him.”

DPRK
Lock-down as high-level talks start on N. Korea
[CNN]
“A U.S. State Department official said Bosworth would not carry any new proposals or new initiatives on his visit.”

US assures NKorea of ‘robust’ direct talks channel [AP]
“U.S. officials say a peace treaty is not on the agenda for Bosworth’s trip to the North. However, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that it “would not surprise us” if the North raised other issues.”

China
China moves to indict top dissident for subversion
[AP]
“Police have finally presented a case against prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has been jailed for a year without charge after helping produce a high-profile manifesto calling for sweeping democratic reforms in China.”

Burma
Myanmar junta calls detained Suu Kyi “dishonest”
[Reuters]
“Suu Kyi, who is held under house arrest, had tried to harm the government’s image and her behaviour had been “highly questionable,” said a commentary carried in three state-run newspapers, which serve as mouthpieces for the reclusive regime.”

India/AfPak
5 Americans detained in Pakistan; no reason given
[AP]
“A U.S. Embassy spokesman said officials there were aware of the reported arrests, but had no more information.”

Afghanistan will need U.S. help for 15 to 20 years, Karzai says [LAT]
“Gates did not take issue with Karzai’s timeline, but he said he hoped that the Afghan military could be ready sooner. Gates emphasized that a U.S. withdrawal would begin in 2011, as outlined by President Obama in his order last week to deploy an additional 30,000 troops. But Gates said the drawdown would be a process lasting several years as Afghan forces took responsibility.”

Two Top Aides Show Unity on Afghan Strategy [NYT]
“[McChrystal] He was joined by Karl W. Eikenberry, the United States ambassador to Afghanistan, who was much more skeptical during the plan’s formulation, and who conceded Tuesday that success could not be guaranteed.”

Violent protests shut down high-tech Indian city [WP]
“Violent protests by students for a separate state to be carved out of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh shut down the main city of Hyderabad on Wednesday.”

‘Amnesty helped Zardari make billions’ [Times of India]
“The documents provided by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) showed that Zardari had been accused of illegally amassing assets worth USD 1.5 billion and Rs 22 billion, mainly during the period when his slain wife Benazir Bhutto was the Premier in the 1990s.”

Middle East
Israel gives initial OK to Jerusalem referendum
[AP]
“Israel’s parliament has given preliminary approval to a piece of legislation that would require a national referendum on any peace deal that gives up control of east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. If approved, the law could constrain the ability of any future Israeli government to turn over captured land as part of a peace deal.”

Iran says will show no mercy to opposition protesters [WP]
“From now on, we will show no mercy toward anyone who acts against national security. They will be confronted firmly,” said prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.”

Europe
UK slaps tax on bankers’ bonuses ahead of election
[AP]
“The British government slapped a one-time tax of 50 percent on fat bank bonuses as it tried to win over voters ahead of a looming general election.”

Darling raises National Insurance in pre-Budget report [BBC]
“National Insurance will go up by a further 0.5p from 2011 and public sector workers face a 1% pay cap, Alistair Darling has announced.”

Ireland’s abortion law challenged in European court [BBC]
“The legal action has been brought by three Irish women who say the effective ban on abortion in Ireland violates the European Convention on Human Rights…The case is the first challenge to Ireland’s abortion laws in more than 15 years.”

Terror charges for man in Germany over US targets [WP]
“The 24-year-old, identified only as Kadir T. in line with German privacy laws, was charged with supporting a foreign terrorist organization and violating export laws, federal prosecutors said.”

Americas
Honduran Anti-Drug Chief Is Killed
[WSJ]
“The victim is retired Gen. Julian Aristides Gonzalez, the general director of the Office for Combatting Drug Trafficking.”

Peru army plans arms purchase, tests Chinese tanks [AP]
“The Lima newspaper La Republica reported that it plans to buy 80 to 120 tanks and has evaluated Chinese, German, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish models….Peru President Alan Garcia has pushed for a disarmament pact in South America as weapons purchases in Venezuela, Brazil and Chile and a U.S. military expansion in Colombia fuels a budding arms race.”

Domestic
Democrats reach deal on health bill
[WP]
“Senate Democratic healthcare negotiators said they agreed on Tuesday to replace a government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan and would seek cost estimates on the deal.”

A Jobs Speech with Elbows [Time]
Op-ed on Obama jobs speech – “The President gave a terrific economic speech today, proposing some new jobs-creating initiatives.”

Coakley, Brown to Battle in Massachusetts U.S. Senate Election [Bloomberg]
“The winner between Coakley, 56, and Brown, 50, in a Jan. 19 special election will serve the rest of Kennedy’s term, ending in January 2013.”

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Daily International News 12.07.09

December 7, 2009

Daily International News
December 7, 2009

DPRK
Bosworth open to talks on peace treaty during Pyongyang trip: official
[Yonhap]
“The issue (of a peace treaty) can be discussed if North Korea promises to come back to the six-party talks,” he said on the customary condition of anonymity.”

Copenhagen
Copenhagen summit urged to take climate change action
[BBC]
“For the next two weeks,” [Rasmussen] said, “Copenhagen will be Hopenhagen. By the end, we must be able to deliver back to the world what was granted us here today: hope for a better future.”

Gordon Brown says climate change deal must be legally binding in six months [Guardian]
Gordon Brown raises the bar for climate change negotiations, urging world leaders to give their promises at Copenhagen the full weight of international law within six months.”

AfPak
No Firm Plans for a U.S. Exit in Afghanistan
[NYT]
“In a flurry of coordinated television interviews, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top administration officials said that any troop pullout beginning in July 2011 would be slow.”

Middle East
Iraq MPs resolve poll law dispute
[Al Jazeera]
“The agreement came late on Sunday evening after a marathon emergency session of parliament.”

Iranian Student Protesters Clash With Police [NYT]
“Thousands of student protesters gathered at universities in Tehran and other cities across Iran on Monday, chanting anti-government slogans and clashing with police in the opposition’s first major street protests in weeks.”

Americas
Morales Coasts to Win in Bolivia’s Elections, May Have Decisive Control of Legislature
[Latin American Times]
“The surveys put Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS, party at between 61 and 63.2 percent of the vote.”