Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Way News - Ecuador troops rescue president from rebel cops
My Way News reports: "Ecuadorean soldiers firing automatic weapons and concussion grenades rescued President Rafael Correa late Thursday from a hospital where he was trapped most of the day by police rebelling over a cut in benefits [...] The violence began when hundreds of police angry over the new civil service law plunged this oil-exporting South American country into chaos, roughing up and tear-gassing Correa, shutting down airports and blocking highways in a nationwide strike."

Comment: This was very odd, not sure what to make of it, it seems a flimsy excuse for a coup.
My Way News - US envoy plans more talks with Abbas, Netanyahu
My Way News reports: "A U.S. emissary racing against the clock to salvage Mideast peace negotiations scheduled another quick round of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders after talks Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ended inconclusively."
My Way News - Iran announces delay in activating nuclear plant
My Way News reports: "Iran will start loading its Russian-built nuclear reactor with enriched uranium fuel in early October, months later than had originally been announced. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi maintained the delay had nothing to do with reports of a computer worm infiltrating the Bushehr nuclear reactor, adding that the plant's systems hadn't been affected [...] World powers are concerned that Iran wants to use aspects of its civil nuclear power program as a cover for making weapons, particularly its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz."
My Way News - Pakistan cuts NATO supply line after border firing
My Way News reports: "Pakistan closed the Khyber Pass supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan after a coalition helicopter attack mistakenly killed three Pakistani soldiers at a border post Thursday, raising tensions in a vital relationship for both Islamabad and Washington."

My Way News - 5 NATO service members killed in Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "Five NATO service members were killed Thursday in southern Afghanistan, the scene of heavy fighting as troops push into areas long controlled by the Taliban, the coalition said." - Plant species in peril, report warns
CNN reports: "Over one-fifth of the world's plant species are threatened with extinction according to a new study compiled by the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London [...] The report says that human activities (81 percent) far outweigh natural threats (19 percent) to plant biodiversity and are being fueled by agriculture, logging, plantations and livestock. The overwhelming amount of this plant degradation is happening in tropical rainforests."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Way News - Palestinians dig in ahead of talks with US envoy

My Way News reports: "The Palestinians dug in ahead of a crucial meeting Thursday with Washington's Mideast envoy, saying they can't be expected to continue peace talks unless Israel reverses a decision to lift restrictions on West Bank settlement construction [...] Starting Thursday, the EU foreign policy chief will meet with Netanyahu, Abbas and Mitchell over two days to try to prevent the collapse of negotiations."

Comment: This is really a fake impasse. The temporary restriction on West Bank settlement construction was a concession by Israel and they made it clear they were expecting a reciprocal concession by the Palestinians. They even went so far as to suggest a possible concession - publicly accepting that Israel was a Jewish state - but the Palestinians refused to budge. I'm only pointing this out because the media (no surprise) is omitting this fact in their reporting and letting their audience believe that Israel is being the obstinate party. President Obama has not only called on the Palestinians but also on other Arab states to offer conciliatory gestures to promote peace, and they have refused. Once again we see that the dominant narrative is that Israel must make all the concessions while the Palestinians sit back and act aggrieved that Israel refuses to negotiate. How can one negotiate when the other side refuses to put anything on the table? The Palestinian strategy is to demand that Israel give more and then when Israel gives a little, they claim it is not enough. This is why most observers believe the land-for-peace process is futile, because Israel already gave land - Gaza - and it did not promote peace. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that the construction restrictions were always temporary (everyone knew that) and given the lack of Palestinian reciprocity, it's not surprising that Israel allowed the restrictions to expire.
Yahoo! News - Al-Qaeda plot to attack European cities uncovered
AFP reports: "Western intelligence agencies have uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to launch attacks in Britain, France and Germany by Pakistan-based extremists, security sources and media reports said Wednesday."
My Way News - NATO confirms senior al-Qaida commander killed
My Way News reports: "A NATO airstrike killed a senior al-Qaida commander in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, as Pakistan investigated reports that a separate CIA drone-launched missile killed the insurgents' No. 3 commander."

My Way News - Terror plot in Europe prompted drone strikes
My Way News reports: "Security officials said Wednesday a terror plot to wage Mumbai-style shooting sprees or other attacks in Britain, France and Germany is still active and that recent CIA strikes in Pakistan were aimed at al-Qaida operatives suspected in the threat."
Yahoo! News - Quake rocks Samoa on tsunami anniversary
AFP reports: "Samoa on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of a tsunami that killed 143 people, as a fresh earthquake heightened painful memories of the Pacific nation's worst natural disaster."

My Way News - Two powerful earthquakes hit eastern Indonesia
My Way News reports: "Two powerful earthquakes hit waters off eastern Indonesia in rapid succession Thursday, prompting officials to briefly trigger a tsunami warning. The U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.2 magnitude quake off Papua province, centered just 7 miles (12 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor, struck less than a minute after a 6.6 temblor in the same location. Several strong aftershocks followed."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Way News - Iran's Guard gets first squadrons of flying boats
My Way News reports: "Iran's state TV says the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard has received its first three squadrons of radar-evading flying boats. The report says the domestically made craft can be used for surveillance and can carry guns and transmit data. Its production is part of Iran's effort to boost its arsenal and military capabilities despite international sanctions over the country's controversial nuclear program."
My Way News - US in last-ditch attempt to save Mideast talks
My Way News reports: "Frustrated by a new impasse, the White House sent its Mideast envoy to the region Tuesday in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the collapse of peace talks over Israel's decision to allow new construction in West Bank settlements."
My Way News - Terrorist plot uncovered in Europe
My Way News reports: "Intelligence officials have intercepted a credible terror plot against Britain and France, raising security fears at the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, but failing to raise the overall threat level in either country."

My Way News - Eiffel Tower reopens after telephoned bomb threat
My Way News reports: "The Eiffel Tower was briefly evacuated Tuesday evening after officials received a bomb threat called in from a telephone booth, in the second such alert at the monument in two weeks. The warning came as French officials have been on alert for possible terror attacks on crowded targets."
My Way News - Police: Norway terror plot targeted Danish paper
My Way News reports: "Three terror suspects who were arrested in an alleged al-Qaida plot in Norway were likely planning an attack against a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, Norwegian and Danish police said Tuesday."
My Way News - China seen as isolating self with tough diplomacy
My Way News reports: "China's increasingly muscular diplomacy may be repelling its Asian neighbors and pushing them closer to the United States, helping fulfill Beijing's fears of being systematically encircled by Washington and its allies, analysts say."
My Way News - More HIV care for pregnant women in poor countries
My Way News reports: "Just over half of HIV-infected pregnant women in poor countries received crucial AIDS drugs to protect their unborn children last year, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday - one of a list of improvements in the global fight against HIV."

My Way News - Study: 1 in 5 urban gay and bisexual men got HIV
My Way News reports: "A government study found one in five sexually active urban gay and bisexual men is infected with HIV, and nearly half of those infected don't know they have the disease. The study is considered the largest to look at urban gay and bisexual men at high risk for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. More than 8,000 men in 21 U.S. cities were tested and interviewed."

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Way News - Palestinians wait on decision to quit peace talks
My Way News reports: "The Palestinian president said Monday he would wait at least a week before deciding whether to quit Mideast peace talks, giving U.S. mediators precious time to broker a compromise after Israel refused to extend its 10-month moratorium on new West Bank settlement construction."
My Way News - Magnitude 6.1 earthquake kills 1 in south Iran
My Way News reports: "A magnitude 6.1 earthquake on Monday killed one person and injured seven after it shook a rural mountainous area in southern Iran, the official news agency reported. The quake jolted the sparsely populated district of Konar Takhteh some 560 miles (900 kilometers) southwest of capital Tehran, reported IRNA, adding that tremors were felt hundreds of miles away."
Military Times - Former Air Force officers discuss UFO sightings
The Military Times reports: "Armed with declassified documents and vivid details, a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday to go public with an assertion they have kept mostly under wraps for decades: that UFOs visited the bases they were stationed at and caused nuclear weapon system to temporarily malfunction." - Hamas political leader vows to continue fight against Israelis
CNN reports: "The political leader of Hamas said in an interview Monday that the Islamist group will continue to fight what he called Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory, declaring the group's resistance 'a legitimate and just cause, and therefore we will win no matter what.'"
My Way News - North Korea promotes Kim son to general
My Way News reports: "North Korean leader Kim Jong Il promoted his youngest son to the rank of general in the Korean People's Army, the state news agency reported early Tuesday, the clearest signal yet that the 20-something is on track to succeed his father in ruling the impoverished country."
My Way News - Pakistan say NATO airstrikes breach its air space
My Way News reports: "Pakistan vehemently protested NATO helicopter strikes that killed more than 70 militants, saying Monday that U.N. rules do not allow the choppers to cross into its air space even in hot pursuit of insurgents. NATO said it launched the strikes in self-defense after militants attacked a small security post in Afghanistan near the border."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Way News - Israel: Settlers brace for end of building freeze
My Way News reports: "Israeli settlers have hauled bulldozers, cement mixers and other construction equipment into a Jewish settlement deep inside the West Bank [...] a day before the end of a government-mandated halt to settlement building. The lifting of the construction restrictions late Sunday presents the first major crisis in the new round of Mideast peace talks, launched earlier this month at the White House by President Barack Obama."

My Way News - Abbas says settlements block Mideast peace deal
My Way News reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday there will be no peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state stops settlement construction in areas the Palestinians claim for their future state."

Friday, September 24, 2010 - Why is 'food security' sparking unrest?
CNN reports: "In a worst-case scenario [...] a world where famine has broken out in several locations, leading to wars and hundreds of millions of refugees wandering the globe looking for food and shelter. That scenario is avoidable, he said, as long as governments make policy changes in their approach toward agriculture." - Peace talks in jeopardy, Clinton and Abbas meet
MSNBC reports: "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spent nearly a half-hour Friday meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the Obama administration tried to prevent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from collapsing." - U.N. nuclear assembly rejects Arab move targeting Israel
Reuters reports: "Member states of the U.N. nuclear watchdog narrowly rejected an Arab-sponsored resolution on Friday calling on Israel to join a global anti-atomic weapons treaty, a U.S. victory after a bruising diplomatic battle."

My Way News - Arab move to censure Israel stymied at UN meeting
My Way News reports: "A 151-nation meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency narrowly defeated an Arab push Friday to censure Israel for shielding its nuclear programs from inspection in a closely watched result that the U.S. said was a positive signal for ongoing Mideast peace talks."

Comment: Holding the line: good guys get to have nukes, bad guys can't. Still, the trend is clear, most developing countries voted in favor of censuring Israel and even few major powers, and with Iran vowing to reintroduce this resolution next year, over time they will gain more and more support. For now, let's pray for those 51 countries that stood with Israel. - Cyber attack appears to target Iran
Reuters reports: "A computer virus that attacks a widely used industrial system appears aimed mostly at Iran [...] European digital security company Kaspersky Labs said the attack could only be conducted 'with nation-state support. Stuxnet is a working and fearsome prototype of a cyber-weapon that will lead to the creation of a new arms race in the world,' it said in a statement about the virus which attacks Siemens AG's widely used industrial control systems." - Cyberwar Chief Calls for Secure Computer Network
The New York Times reports: "The new commander of the military’s cyberwarfare operations is advocating the creation of a separate, secure computer network to protect civilian government agencies and critical industries like the nation’s power grid against attacks mounted over the Internet."

Comment: While it's too early to know who launched this cyberwar attack attack on Iran's nuclear facilities it's not too early to suggest that regardless of who actually did it, Iran will blame the West and Israel. Although the age of cyberwarfare began in 2007 (at least in terms of the public open-source timeline) with the Russian attack on Estonia, the media and a small percentage of the public at large may now be waking up to the realization of the full implications of cyberwar.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Officials: Palestinians will consider compromise - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "Hopes of averting a breakdown in Middle East peace talks grew Thursday as senior Palestinian officials said their side would consider an expected U.S.-brokered compromise on Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank."
Iran criticizes Russia over S-300 missile deal ban - Yahoo! News
Yahoo News reports: "The Iranian defense minister criticized Russia Thursday for banning all sales of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi's comments came a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree on the ban, which also prohibited exports of tanks, aircraft and sea vessels to Iran."
Yahoo! News - African Union: Sudan leader case undermines peace
Yahoo! News reports: "The African Union urged the United Nations on Thursday to put war crime charges against Sudan's leader on hold, warning they could destabilize Africa's biggest nation and endanger an upcoming referendum on southern independence." - Obama: Don't let skeptics, fear derail Mideast peace
CNN reports: "President Obama says critics and skeptics to Mideast peace between Israelis and Palestinians should 'consider the alternative,' according to excerpts released in advance of his United Nations speech planned for Thursday."
Yahoo! News - UN chief urges tolerance to combat polarization
Yahoo! News reports: "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned kings, prime ministers and presidents Thursday of growing political polarization and social inequalities and implored U.N. members to show greater tolerance and mutual respect to bring the world together."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - Islamists Opposed to Church Vow to Stop the 'Christianization' of Indonesia
The New York Times reports: "Two leaders of the small congregation of Indonesia Christians in Bekasi were seriously wounded when the rally against their planned church by vigilantes from the Islamic Defenders’ Front, or F.P.I., turned violent [...] F.P.I. vigilantes have attacked a wide range of targets in the past, throwing rocks at members of minority Muslim sects, beating gay people, destroying bars and vowing to track down the editor of Indonesia’s short-lived version of Playboy magazine, Erwin Arnada, who is now in hiding."
Yahoo News - Violence in east Jerusalem clouds peace efforts
Yahoo! News reports: "Crowds of Palestinian youths violently rampaged in east Jerusalem Wednesday following the shooting death of a local man, clouding fragile peace efforts even as the Palestinian president signaled he may back away from threats to quit negotiations if Israel resumes West Bank settlement construction."
Yahoo! News - Besieged al-Qaida militants battling Yemeni troops
Yahoo! News reports: "Al-Qaida militants holed up in a village in south Yemen on Wednesday fought off repeated attempts by government troops backed by tanks and heavy artillery to retake the besieged town, officials said."
Yahoo! News - Fidel Castro firmly backs Israel's right to exist: report
Yahoo! News reports: "Fidel Castro, the longtime president and leftist icon who stepped aside during a health crisis but still leads the Cuban Communist Party, has told a reporter that Israel definitely has the right to exist."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reuters - Quartet keeps pressure on Israel over settlements
Reuters reports: "The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators urged Israel on Tuesday to extend its settlement moratorium and called on Palestinian and Israeli officials to ensure their nascent direct peace talks continue."
Yahoo! News - Afghanistan helicopter crash kills 9 NATO troops
Yahoo! News reports: "A helicopter carrying international troops crashed in a rugged section of southern Afghanistan, killing nine service members in the deadliest such incident in four years for coalition forces."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yahoo! News - Special report: Tracking Iran's nuclear money trail to Turkey
Yahoo! News reports: "Turkey and other U.S. allies have been allowing Iranian banks with suspected links to Tehran's nuclear program to do business within their borders, frustrating Western countries trying to put a financial squeeze on the Islamic Republic, Reuters has learned."

Yahoo! News - Israel's Peres refuses to meet Turkish president
Yahoo News reports: "Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Monday he declined to meet his Turkish counterpart after he had set conditions Israel could not accept as tensions between the two countries remain high [...] Gul however said he would meet Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad for talks focusing on the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program as Turkey continues efforts to facilitate talks between Iran and the West." - AP Interview - Gul Backs Mideast Nuclear-Free Zone
The New York Times reports: "Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Monday he will call for a Middle East totally free of nuclear weapons when he addresses the U.N. General Assembly later this week."
Yahoo! News - Abbas won't negotiate if Israel ends settlement curbs
Yahoo! News reports: "Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Monday he will not take part in US-backed peace talks 'for a single day' if Israel does not extend a freeze on settlement building at the month's end."

Yahoo! News - Israeli minister: Palestinians need to compromise - Yahoo! News
Yahoo! News reports: "With crisis looming for recently restarted Mideast peace talks, Israel's deputy prime minister on Monday urged the Palestinians to relax their demand that a freeze on new Jewish settlement construction be extended past its planned weekend expiration. Palestinian officials quickly rejected the idea, leaving a deadlock in place."
Yahoo! News - Israel angry at Russian plan to sell Syria missiles
Yahoo! News reports: "Israel criticized Russia on Monday for planning to sell anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria, saying the advanced weapons could be transferred to Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon [...] Syria denies arming Hezbollah, which also enjoys Iranian backing. Hezbollah surprised Israel by hitting one of its naval vessels with a cruise missile during the 2006 Lebanon war."
Yahoo! News - Europe leaders urge bank tax to battle poverty
Yahoo! News reports: "European leaders stepped up demands for a global financial tax on Monday as they faced mounting calls for money to pay for the Millennium Goals battle to cut extreme poverty."
Yahoo! News - France raises terror security, new threat reported
Yahoo News reports: "France is on alert for possible terrorism after intelligence suggested that attackers might target a public gathering place, with one lead pointing to a female suicide bomber, a counterterrorism official said Monday."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

AFP - Iran's Ahmadinejad to visit Syria on Saturday: diplomat
AFP reports: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit Syria briefly on Saturday where he will meet his Syrian counterpart and close ally Bashar al-Assad, a diplomatic source in Damascus said on Friday [...] During his trip, the Iranian president also met exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah."
Guardian - UK pushes for new action on millennium development goals
The Guardian reports: "Britain will this week press the United Nations to adopt a five-year blueprint to eradicate poverty in the world's poorest countries as it seeks to use a summit in New York to make up for ground lost in the financial crisis."
CNN - Pentagon: 2 Russian aircraft buzzed U.S. warship
CNN reports: "A pair of Russian aircraft buzzed a U.S. warship off the Arctic coast of Russia on consecutive days last week, leading the U.S. Navy chief of naval operations to raise the issue with his Russian counterpart, a Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said."
UPI - Earthquake hits Pakistan, Afghanistan
UPI reports: "A large 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck northern Pakistan and Afghanistan late Friday, but there were no reports of injuries."
My Way News - Couple charged in nuclear weapons secrets case
My Way News reports: "A scientist and his wife who both once worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory were arrested Friday after an FBI sting operation and charged with conspiring to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela."

Friday, September 17, 2010

BBC News - Russia to sell Syria anti-ship cruise missiles
BBC News reports: "Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was quoted as saying Russia would fulfil a contract signed in 2007 for the P-800 Yakhont missiles. Both the US and Israel had requested that Syria should not be supplied with the missiles."
My Way News - Israeli troops kill Hamas militant in West Bank
My Way News reports: "Israeli troops killed a Hamas militant Friday during an arrest raid in the West Bank, where violence has increased since the start of new Mideast peace talks this month."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reuters - Mideast talks still under threat after Clinton visit
Reuters reports: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended three days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Thursday with no visible sign of progress on breaking a deadlock over building in West Bank settlements."

CNN - Clinton pushes extended West Bank construction moratorium
CNN reports: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has proposed a three-month extension of Israel's construction moratorium on the West Bank, a diplomatic source told CNN Thursday. The proposal, which was made this week during Middle East peace talks being held in the region, was accepted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but essentially rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
CNN - Analysts: Symbian and Android will dominate by 2014
CNN reports: "Symbian and Android will dominate the mobile operating system market by 2014, research firm Gartner said Friday. Gartner expects that Symbian and Android together will account for 59.8 percent of the total worldwide mobile OS market by 2014, split almost equally -- Symbian with 30.2 percent, and Android with 29.6 percent."
My Way News - Iran's president brings political baggage to NY
My Way News reports: "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - who was a divisive figure in Iran after his disputed re-election last year - is now the great divider among the conservative leadership as the threat fades from the battered and dispirited opposition, analysts say."
AFP - Israel to purchase US F-35 stealth fighters: government
AFP reports: "The Israeli government said Thursday it had given final approval to the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States, in one of the Jewish state's largest-ever arms purchases [...] Deliveries of the first F-35s, which are not yet operational, are expected only in 2015."
My Way News - 6 India security forces wounded in Kashmir clashes
My Way News reports: "Violent civil unrest against New Delhi's rule in Kashmir has roiled the disputed Himalayan region for the past three months and killed at least 94 people, including 22 who died from police fire this week. The unrest prompted authorities to declare the curfew, under which violators can be shot."
The Independent - Expert predicts 5.5 magnitude earthquake could hit London at any time
The Independent reports: "Britain is overdue a potentially devastating earthquake that could topple London's grandest landmarks, cause billions of pounds worth of damage and endanger scores of lives, a leading seismologist warned yesterday."
Global Arab Network - Egypt Prepares for the Mediterranean Union Summit
Global Arab Network reports: "Egypt is getting ready for the forthcoming Mediterranean Union Summit in Barcelona, Global Arab Network learned [...] The meeting tackles the preparation for the Summit for the Mediterranean Union which will be held in Barcelona in November 2010 under the joint Egyptian-French presidency of the Union and the importance of giving the union a boost in the light of the recent visit of President Mubarak to France and his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mideast Peace Talks Continue in Jerusalem

Reuters - U.S. sees progress in Mideast peace talks
Reuters reports: "The United States said on Wednesday it believed Israel and the Palestinians were making progress toward resolving a dispute over settlement building that threatens to sink their newly-launched peace talks [...] Meeting in Brussels on Thursday, European leaders will call on Israel to extend the moratorium according to a draft of the summit conclusions seen by Reuters."

Yahoo News - No deal: Mideast round ends amid fresh violence
AP reports: "A mortar attack by Palestinian militants and airstrikes by Israel formed the grim backdrop as Mideast leaders ended their latest round of peace talks Wednesday, still divided on major issues. There was no word on when they would meet again."
Yahoo! News - Arctic sea ice shrinks to third lowest area on record
AFP reports: "Arctic sea ice melted over the summer to cover the third smallest area on record, US researchers said Wednesday, warning global warming could leave the region ice free in the month of September 2030."
Reuters - Swine flu can become drug-resistant quickly: study
Reuters reports: "A swine flu virus infecting a woman in Singapore mutated into a drug-resistant form virtually overnight, doctors reported in a study that they say shows the limitations of using drugs to treat influenza."
Reuters - West hits out at Iran over ban on atom inspectors
Reuters reports: "Western powers accused Iran on Wednesday of trying to intimidate the U.N. atomic agency by barring some nuclear inspectors and the United States warned the Islamic state of possible diplomatic consequences."
Reuters - Saudi deal could be first of more Gulf U.S. arms pactss
Reuters reports: "U.S. arms manufacturers are capitalizing on fears of war with Iran to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia and other nervous Gulf Arab neighbors of the Islamic republic."
Yahoo! News - U.S.-led forces meet little resistance in Kandahar operation
Yahoo News reports: "U.S.-led forces began a key operation Wednesday in the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan , meeting surprisingly little initial resistance in the district in the south of the country that gave birth to the Taliban . The offensive to secure Zhari, just west of Kandahar city, is part of the last phase of attempting to stabilize the crucial province of Kandahar by the end of this year. The White House plans a December review of its Afghan policy and progress toward its plans to begin withdrawing U.S. troops next July."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reuters - Famine threat in Africa's Sahel eases - for now
Reuters reports: "Abundant rains in Chad have raised hopes for an end to severe food shortages but the effects will linger and lead to new difficulties across Africa's Sahel region in 2011, aid workers predict. With signs that neighbouring Niger has also got over the worst of a food crisis triggered by last year's drought, the threat of all-out famine in the semi-arid Sahel zone just south of the Sahara appears to be subsiding."

CNN - U.N.: World hunger down but still 'unacceptable'
CNN reports: "The good news is that improving economies in developing nations is allowing more people to eat better, but the United Nations estimates that nearly 1 billion people will still face chronic hunger this year."

BBC News - Global hunger 'unacceptably high', UN report says
BBC News reports: "Global hunger has fallen this year but remains 'unacceptably high', a report from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said. The FAO estimates there are 925 million undernourished people in 2010, compared with 1.02 billion in 2009."

AOL News - Scientist Sounds Global Famine Warning Amid Growing Food Price Concerns
AOL News reports: "At an international agricultural biotechnology conference in Canada, an Australian scientist and journalist gave a dire keynote address Monday, warning global governments to pay greater attention to the possibility of coming global famine."
CNN - 5.9 earthquake strikes Mexico
CNN reports: "A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Islas Marias region of Nayarit, Mexico Tuesday, according to U.S. Geological Survey."

Monday, September 13, 2010

CNN Analysis: 'Street fighter' Erdogan triumphs but vote exposes divisions
CNN reports: "Voters in Turkey on Sunday handed an emphatic victory to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan but results in a referendum on constitutional reform have exposed stark divisions within Turkish society, according to politicians and analysts."

Comment: This is good new from democratic reformers, bad news for secularists.
My Way News - Cholera stalks West Africa as rains spread disease
My Way News reports: "The worst epidemic in Nigeria in 19 years is spreading to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, where it has killed hundreds more [...] In Chad, more than 40 have died and 600 are sickened, while the disease also has popped up in nearby Niger, he said. It was not immediately clear how many people were affected there."
My Way News - Markets welcome new global banking rules
My Way News reports: "Bank stocks rose Monday on news that global regulators have agreed on new banking rules aimed at averting another financial collapse. The new rules, which will gradually require banks to hold greater capital buffers to absorb potential losses, are likely to reshape the credit industry by imposing stricter discipline on credit cards, mortgages and other loans."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reuters - Turkey holds referendum on constitutional reform
Reuters reports: "Turks vote Sunday in a constitutional referendum seen as a test of support for a government that has pushed liberal reforms, but is accused by some secularist critics of promoting Islamist ambitions."

Comment: It will be interesting to see how this vote goes and if the rise of the Islamist political elite in Turkey continues.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Way News - Iran denies it is building secret nuclear facility
My Way News reports: "Iran is denying an opposition group's claim that it is building a secret nuclear facility west of the capital. The head of Iran's nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the country has no undeclared nuclear sites, according to a report Friday by the semiofficial Mehr news agency."

Comment: After having been caught in the past and having kicked out inspectors, well, they don't exactly have a lot of credibility right now. What interests me most about this report though, is not the denial, but the fact that the allegation is being made by Iranians, not the West. This could get interesting as we learn of more cracks in the once solid ruling elite.
My Way News - China demands Japan release detained boat captain
My Way News reports: "China has said the confrontation could damage its relations with Japan, showing the sensitivity of the territorial dispute, one of several that trouble China's ties with its Asian neighbors. As the robust Chinese economy's demand for resources grows, Beijing's commercial ships are venturing farther from shore and its more powerful navy is enforcing claims in disputed waters."

My Way News - Japan wary of China military, urges closer US ties
My Way News reports: "Japan's Defense Ministry stressed the importance of U.S. military forces in Japan and cast a wary eye on China's military expansion in an annual report Friday, as diplomatic tensions with China rose following a collision near disputed islands."
My Way News - Cholera outbreak in Cameroon 'worst in 20 years'
My Way News reports: "UNICEF says more than 300 people have died in the West African nation of Cameroon from the country's worst cholera outbreak in 20 years [...] Cholera also has killed several hundred people in Nigeria this year and more than 40 in the neighboring country of Chad."

AFP: China reports fresh cholera outbreak
AFP reports: "Nearly 20 middle school students have been diagnosed with cholera in eastern China, the government has said, in the second outbreak of the potentially fatal disease in the nation in a month."
AFP: EU's Ashton defends no-show at Mideast peace talks
AFP reports: "EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, under fire for not attending Israeli-Palestinian talks last week, on Friday said her decision in no way reflected a priority shift for the 27-nation bloc."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Haaretz - Turkey 'not drifting closer to Iran', analysts say
Haaretz reports: "Despite a near-breakdown in relations with Israel and cordial ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Turkey is not realigning itself with Tehran, according to a report released Thursday."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

My Way News - Pessimistic about peace, Israelis greet new year
My Way News reports: "Israelis usher in the Jewish new year, or Rosh Hashana, at sundown Wednesday with a widespread sense of pessimism that a new round of U.S.-sponsored Mideast talks can achieve peace. President Barack Obama wants a deal within a year, but Israelis are deeply skeptical after decades of failed efforts."
My Way News - South Korea imposes independent sanctions on Iran
My Way News reports: "South Korea said it will ban many financial dealings with Iran and impose other penalties as part of a U.S.-led campaign to enforce sanctions against the country over its disputed nuclear enrichment program [...] The U.S. also independently imposed new sanctions against Iran and has urged other countries to follow suit. So far, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Japan have joined the international campaign against Iran."
My Way News - Mullah Omar tells Afghans Taliban are winning
My Way News reports: "The Taliban's shadowy leader told Afghans on Wednesday that the insurgents are winning the war and warned Americans that they are wasting lives and billions in tax dollars by continuing in the conflict."
My Way News - Big quake aftershocks plague New Zealand city
My Way News reports: "A strong aftershock rocked terrified residents of New Zealand's earthquake-stricken city of Christchurch on Wednesday, as officials doubled their estimate for repairing the damage following nearly 300 temblors in five days."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Way News - Abbas asks US to step into settlement dispute

My Way News reports: "Israel's 10-month partial freeze on new construction in West Bank settlements ends Sept. 26, and Israeli officials have indicated they will not extend the freeze as is. Abbas has said he'll quit peace talks with Israel unless the restrictions remain in place. Abbas said late Monday that he has asked the U.S. 'to intervene in the settlement issue.'"

Comment: I've never really understand why new construction matters. I mean, every proposed agreement for the past decade or so assumes that Israel will give up some already settled land - physically remove residents - so what's a few more buildings? And why should the PA object to having newly built apartments move-in-ready for their people to set up state in? Well, it doesn't matter, I suspect the Psalm 83 war will happen before the peace treaty. After all, peace treaties historically come after the war, not before.
My Way News - Iran says it has the right to bar UN inspectors
My Way News reports: "Iran's nuclear chief said Tehran has the right to bar some U.N. inspectors from monitoring its disputed nuclear program, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported [...] some Western nations on the agency's 35-nation board argue that because Iran has banned more than 40 inspectors over the past four years, a case could be made that Tehran is violating the agency's so-called Safeguards Agreement."
My Way News - Big aftershock freshly damages New Zealand city
My Way News reports: "A magnitude-5.1 aftershock hammered New Zealand's earthquake-hit city of Christchurch on Wednesday morning, freshly damaging buildings, sparking evacuations and prompting the extension of a state of emergency for another week."
My Way News - Japan confirms its first case of new superbug gene
My Way News reports: "Japan has confirmed the nation's first case of a new gene in bacteria that allows the microorganisms to become drug-resistant superbugs, detected in a man who had medical treatment in India, a Health Ministry official said Tuesday."
WaPo - Contractors bullish on federal ID technology market
The Washington Post reports: "Timothy J. Quillin, an analyst with Little Rock-based investment bank Stephens, is bullish on the sector. He said identity solutions could be 'one of the areas where you might see increased spending,' even in an era of constrained spending. He cited the military and homeland security interest in biometrics and identification databases as the key driver."

Friday, September 03, 2010

My Way News - Powerful 7.1 quake hits New Zealand's South Island

My Way News reports: "A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake damaged buildings, cut power and knocked fleeing residents off their feet on New Zealand's South Island early Saturday, but there were so far no deaths and only two injuries reported."
My Way News - Samsung unveils iPad competitor Galaxy
My Way News reports: "Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday unveiled a new tablet PC named Galaxy Tab as the latest device meant to rival Apple Inc.'s popular iPad [...] The price of the device will depend on telecommunications operators through which it will be available starting next month in Europe and later in fall in the U.S. and Asia [...] Samsung is currently the world's second largest cell phone manufacturer after Nokia."
My Way News - Egypt protests Iranian comments on peace talks
My Way News reports: "Egypt has canceled a visit by Iran's foreign minister to protest comments in which he accused Arab leaders of betrayal for attending the new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had been scheduled to visit Cairo Monday for a meeting of Nonaligned Movement members. Iran has an uneasy relationship with U.S.-allied Arab nations, which have watched Tehran's growing influence in the Middle East with concern because of suspicions over its nuclear program and its support for radical Islamic groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."

My Way News - Blasts rip through possible Hezbollah weapons site
My Way News reports: "Explosions ripped through a building Friday in southern Lebanon that might have been used to store weapons by the militant group Hezbollah, security officials said [...] Hezbollah has been banned from having weapons in the zone under a U.N. resolution that ended the 2006 war between the militant group and Israel."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians resume direct peace talks
My Way News reports: "Seeking to broker a Mideast peace agreement that has eluded U.S. presidents for decades, the Obama administration is overseeing the first direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years."

My Way News - Hamas among intractable issues in Mideast talks
My Way News reports: "To relaunch Middle East peace talks on Thursday, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders and their American mediators quietly agreed to push aside the question of Hamas - the Islamic militant group that controls one of the two Palestinian territories and rejects negotiations." - Small gains made in Mideast peace talks
USA Today reports: "Before leaving here Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas joined hands literally and figuratively. They condemned this week's violence against Israelis on the West Bank, set Sept. 14-15 for their next talks and agreed to seek a 'framework agreement.' None of the major issues that divide them was solved [...] One of the first agreements was to meet again in less than two weeks in the Middle East, most likely in Egypt. The leaders also agreed to meet about every two weeks thereafter."
My Way News - US forces still in fight at end of combat mission
My Way News reports: "While the Obama administration has dramatically reduced the number of troops and rebranded the mission, the operation in Hawija was a reminder that U.S. forces are still engaged in hunting down and killing al-Qaida militants - and could still have to defend themselves against attacks."

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My Way News - Obama cautiously hopeful as Mideast talks begin

My Way News reports: "Under the shadow of fresh violence, President Barack Obama solemnly convened the first direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in two years Wednesday, challenging Mideast leaders to seize a fleeting opportunity to deliver peace to a region haunted by decades of hostility."

My Way News - Hamas leader rejects talks with Israel
My Way News reports: "The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip rejected compromise with Israel in a fiery speech Wednesday, a day after gunmen killed four Israelis in a strong reminder that the Islamic militant group cannot be ignored in any Mideast deal [...] The main Mideast mediators - the United States, the United Nations, Europe and Russia - have not spelled out how Gaza fits into their peace plans. Abbas could only implement a peace deal if he either reaches a power-sharing deal with Hamas, or if Hamas decides to moderate. Both seem unlikely at this point."\

My Way News - Palestinian kills 4 Israelis on eve of peace talks
My Way News reports: "Palestinian gunmen opened fire Tuesday on an Israeli car in the West Bank and killed four passengers on the eve of a new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington. The Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility."