Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:12:13 AM EST
VOA News - Captured Somali Pirate to Stand Trial in US
A young Somali man, the only survivor of a pirate attack on a U.S. cargo ship earlier this month, is appearing before a U.S. federal judge Tuesday to face charges.

Abdiweli Muse will be the first person tried in the U.S. for piracy in more than a century, even as his parents plea for leniency.

U.S. officials said Muse is 18 years old, but Abdilkadir Muse, the teenager's father, told VOA's Somali service his son is only 16 and came under the influence of gangs and money.

The pirate's mother has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to release her son.

Muse was in handcuffs and shackled but smiled as he arrived at a federal detention center in New York City Monday night.

Muse and three other pirates seized control of the Maersk Alabama on April 8 as the tanker was carrying emergency food aid for East Africa.

Muse was injured in a skirmish with the crew and was in the custody of the U.S. military while his accomplices took the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:29:58 PM EST
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dropped 'ambiguous' Holocaust reference from UN speech | World news | guardian.co.uk

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, dropped a controversial phrase casting doubt on the Holocaust from an address to a United Nations conference on racism, according to UN officials and Farsi interpreters.

An official Iranian text of Ahmadinejad's address to the conference on Monday referred to "the ambiguous and dubious question of the Holocaust". However, when the president delivered the speech he omitted the phrase, referring more vaguely to "abuse of the Holocaust". He also dropped a segment about Zionist "penetration" of western society.

It is not clear why he deviated from the prepared text, but Ahmadinejad took the podium at the conference following a meeting with the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who had urged against the use of divisive language.

However, the speech as delivered still contained the claim that Israel had been created by western "military aggression" after the second world war, "by using the pretext of Jewish sufferings and by abusing the Holocaust". He described Israel as "a completely racist regime" and "those racist perpetrators of genocide". He also suggested the 2003 Iraq invasion was planned "by the Zionists and their allies in the then US administration in complicity with the arms manufacturing companies and the owners of wealth".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:37:02 PM EST
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BBC NEWS | Middle East | UN 'regrets' Ahmadinejad speech

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "misused" an anti-racism conference at which he called Israel a racist state.

His speech sparked wide condemnation and a walkout by EU delegates.

Iran criticised Mr Ban's comments as "one-sided". Mr Ahmadinejad returned home on Tuesday to what was officially described as a "sensational" welcome.

The UN said Mr Ahmadinejad had dropped language from his speech describing the Holocaust as "ambiguous and dubious".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:39:13 PM EST
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Full Text of President Ahmadinejad's Remarks at U.N. Conference on Racism | Foreign Policy Journal
This is a rush transcript of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20, 2009. Transcribed from the translation given in the U.N. webcast of the speech.
by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:18:16 PM EST
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Deutsch Welle: Israel compares Iran with Nazi Germany as racism conference limps on

Speaking at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in Auschwitz, Israel's deputy prime minister likened Iran to the Third Reich. His remarks came a day after Iran labeled Israel "a racist regime" at a UN conference in Geneva.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:43:04 PM EST
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Everyone walk out of that one? No? Shocking. IOKIFYAZ.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:44:24 PM EST
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BBC: Obama to invite Middle East heads

US officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians will visit the White House in the next two months in a new push for Middle East peace.

Reports say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would be invited by the first week of June.

There is no indication the Arab and Israeli leaders will have direct talks.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 03:14:33 PM EST
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Obama condemns Ahmadinejad, but still wants talks | International | Reuters

By Laura MacInnis GENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday condemned as "appalling and objectionable" a speech by Iran's president which denounced Israel as a racist state and prompted a walkout from a U.N. conference on racism.

Delegates at the troubled United Nations meeting, meanwhile, speedily adopted an anti-racism declaration the day after the dramatic protest by Western states at the comments by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad was the only head of state to address the Geneva conference, known as Durban II, which is being boycotted by about a dozen countries including the United States who fear it could be used to single out Israel for criticism.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:55:55 PM EST
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allAfrica.com: South Africa: Food Used as Election Weapon, Say Monitors (Page 1 of 1)

Cape Town -- South African civil society election monitors are expecting largely violence-free polls in the country's national elections, but say party activists have been using access to food and social grants as a political weapon.

The Election Monitoring Network - formed by leading non-governmental agencies and religious organizations - says in its final pre-election report that the run-up to Wednesday's election - "the most competitive election in South Africa's history" - has seen "much lower levels of political violence and intolerance than might have been expected."

However, the monitors are worried that the announcement of results could trigger conflict in KwaZulu-Natal and have called for security measures which were implemented to ensure peace at the polls should remain in place after voting day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:42:48 PM EST
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South Africa's Zuma calls for big poll turnout | International | Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Jacob Zuma called for a huge turnout for South Africa's election on Wednesday to give his ruling African National Congress an overwhelming mandate in its toughest test since the end of apartheid.

Zuma is expected to become president after the ballot of 23 million South Africans, but the ANC risks losing the two-thirds majority in parliament it needs to change the constitution in the face of a new opposition party formed by ANC dissidents.

"We anticipate a massive turnout and we expect that the people of this country will once again give the ANC a huge and decisive mandate to work together with them to further improve their lives," he told a last news conference before the vote.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:02:03 PM EST
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allAfrica.com: Africa: The Second Scramble for Africa Starts (Page 1 of 1)

Berlin -- Sub-Saharan African countries have of late become the target of a new form of investment that is strongly reminiscent of colonialism: investors from both industrialised and emerging economies buy or lease large tracts of farm land across the continent, either to guarantee their own food provisions or simply as yet another business.

In doing so, investors even deal with warlords who claim property rights, as in Sudan.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activists in Europe are denouncing this land grab in Egypt, Sudan, Cameroon, Senegal, Mozambique and elsewhere in Africa as a new form of colonialism.

Uwe Hoering, a German researcher on development policy for several European NGOs, including the news letter Weltwirtschaft und Entwicklung (World Economy and Development), called these investments "a new form of agrarian colonialism".

In an interview with IPS, Hoering said that the land grab in Africa became evident in 2008 as a consequence of the recent run to so-called bio fuels and the price inflation and scarcity of food.

Although the investments are also targeting fertile land in other areas of the world, sub-Saharan Africa appears to be these investors' main destination. The reasons are multiple.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:45:44 PM EST
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Sri Lankan troops move in on Tigers | International | Reuters

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan soldiers battled into the last redoubt of the rebel Tamil Tigers Tuesday as the exodus of people fleeing the war zone reached more than 62,000, the military said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned the situation was "nothing short of catastrophic" and urged both sides to prevent further mass casualties among civilians, saying hundreds had been killed in the past 48 hours.

The neutral agency did not assign blame to either side.

The operation gathered speed after the military's noon (0630 GMT) deadline for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to surrender passed without any word from the separatists, in what appears to be the final act in Asia's longest-running war.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:57:51 PM EST
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Refugee tide threatens to overwhelm camps in Sri Lanka, says UN | World news | guardian.co.uk

Unicef said today it faced a "human avalanche" of destitute people in Sri Lanka as the country's military entered an established no-fire zone and freed 3,000 civilians trapped between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The UN children's agency has raised concerns that the overcrowded ­internment camps to which civilians have been taken would be unable to cope with the influx of tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting. Sarah Crowe, of Unicef, said it was facing a "human avalanche" and described the situation as being "on a knife edge".

The Sri Lankan military said it had established new positions across the zone, penning the remaining Tamil Tiger fighters into a smaller area. The remaining rebels ignored a noon deadline to surrender.

The ministry of defence's website claimed that fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTEE) had fired on civilians attempting to cross out of the no-fire zone, while the rebels said 1,000 ­civilians died in a government raid on their territory which the military said freed thousands of noncombatants from the war zone. The military denied the accusation.

Neither report could be confirmed because independent reporters are banned from entering the area.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:06:01 PM EST
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Two Koreas hold rare talks amid nuclear threat | International | Reuters

PAJU, South Korea (Reuters) - Political rivals North and South Korea held rare, brief and acrimonious talks on Tuesday over a joint factory park as global powers tried to prevent Pyongyang from restarting its nuclear arms plant.

The talks, delayed for nearly 12 hours by a dispute over the venue and format, produced no breakthrough and increased friction over the Kaesong park, the last remaining major area of cooperation between the states technically still at war.

Regional powers' frustration with North Korea has been growing, and earlier this month it defied South Korea, Japan and the United States and launched a rocket in what was widely seen as a disguised long-range missile test.

The Kaesong park, where South Korean firms use cheap North Korean labor and land to make goods, was once hailed as a model of economic cooperation but is now the focus of mounting tension.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:59:55 PM EST
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Russia warns U.S. stepping up shield plans: agency | International | Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of stepping up plans to install an anti-missile system in Europe, according to Interfax news agency.

The comments from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov mark a sharper tone from Moscow after a series of conciliatory comments on U.S. plans to deploy elements of the system in Central Europe.

Moscow said it had hoped the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama would revise plans initiated under former President George W. Bush to construct the system and welcomed calls initiated by the U.S. side to "reset" relations.

"The U.S. has not revised its plans. I do not think that this could happen. On the contrary, we can see that work in missile defense has intensified, including in the NATO format," Ryabkov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:00:51 PM EST
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Senior Bush figures could be prosecuted for torture, says Obama | World news | guardian.co.uk

Senior members of the Bush administration who approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures could face prosecution, President Obama disclosed today .

He said the use of torture reflected America "losing our moral bearings".

He said his attorney general, Eric Holder, was conducting an investigation and the decision rested with him. Obama last week ruled out prosecution of CIA agents who carried out the interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members at Guantánamo and secret prisons around the world.

But for the first time today he opened up the possibility that those in the administration who gave the go-ahead for the use of waterboarding could be prosecuted.

The revelation will enrage senior Bush administration figures such as the former vice-president Dick Cheney.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:03:00 PM EST
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In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use - NYTimes.com

In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved -- not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees -- investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.

According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.

Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.

The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:20:12 AM EST
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