Vote postponed until Thursday, legislators call for pact to be dependent on national referendum in 2009
Adam Ashton: A national referendum on the pact will allow Iraqi's to see if the agreement works for them
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Bush administration applies pressure to accept security pact, but Iraqis from all parties reluctant
More at leader Khamenei tells Iraqi Prime Minister that Iran
More at submits new unspecified proposals hoping to get security agreement in Iraq despite staunch opposition
Leila Fadel: Iraq deal will NOT allow residual forces, but opponents say too many loopholes
Michael Schwartz examines the Sadrists' reaction to the US-Iraq security pact Pt 3 of 3
US warns Iraq over troop pact
Bush Administration should stop dictating terms to Iraq on the security pact and instead help the country in securing an extension of the UN mandate. It is high time US withdraw its troops from Iraq especially after the success of Shia Sunni ceasefire and relative peace that has slowly but surely begun seeping into the Iraqi society. Iraq war has already been a huge burden for the American taxpayer. Ever since the conflict began US has spent more than $315bn on war and reconstruction half of what it desperately needed today for the financial bailout. Our economy is already in shambles, people have lost whatever faith they had in the administration’s ability to protect their economic future. How can the government still afford to play with such flimsy ideas as securing legal basis for military presence in Iraq until 2011, naturally tantamount to inviting financial suicide? Let the UN handle Iraq. US should be busy setting its own house in order instead of bothering itself with Iraq’s future.
Indian Flood Relief aid a pittance
Monetary relief provided by India is nothing compare to the amount of aid which is needed to actually affect the rehabilitation of flood victims in Nepal. Series of embankments and other structures built by India along the India-Nepal border meant for its own security are havoc in Nepal. According to the Kosi river pact signed between the two neighbours in 1954, India has to maintain, build and repair the various structures on the river. The Kosi breached its embankment in August after two of its spurs collapsed, unleashing destruction in Sunsari district in south Nepal as well as in Bihar state in India. In comparison to the 50,000 people left homeless in Nepal, the money handed over by the Indian government is inadequate. As per international norms, India should compensate Nepal for the ravages caused by the flood. This is the right time for self styled Big Brother that India is, to duly play its part and help its northern neighbor in need.
School violence rising in Kenya
Following the wave of post-electoral violence in Kenya earlier this year, violence has again erupted, this time in Kenyan schools. Several secondary schools' dormitories and administration blocks were set on fire in the last few months by students whose indiscipline continue to be a source of concern in many parts of the country. Characterized by the destruction of school property running into millions of Kenyan shillings, loss of study time and even death, this unrest spread spontaneously like a bush fire in the dry season. Violence is a part of the education institutes especially with the university students but over the past decade, university strikes have ceased and the trend has shifted to affect secondary schools. The violent events currently taking place in Kenyan schools are not good for the economy and for the future of the students. Considering the aftermath the high official must take the remedial measures to secure the academic future of Kenya's youth.
Chinese toys checked for lead
The seizure of container full of plastic toys believed to be contaminated with lead is depressing. Economic development at whatever cost it seems is the overriding motto which governs trade and industry functions within China. Recently Chinese dairy industry flooded the world market with melamine tainted milk in attempt to dilute the milk and making it appear higher in proteins. Not only did it risked the lives of thousands f infants throughout the globe but it also had a negative impact on businesses worldwide for no fault of theirs. The new finding that Chinese toy manufacturers in China have exported toys with high lead content is absolutely shocking. The Filipino government should sternly guard against import of goods from China and block the import of goods if laboratory examination succeeds in determining that the toys did contain lead, a toxic chemical. Afterall why should we pay the price for China's "who cares attitude" at the cost of the health of our own young and country's business interests.
US and Iraq approve security pact
The pact signed between US and Iraq which stipulates that U.S. troops to be withdrawn from all Iraqi cities and towns by June 30, 2009 is definitely in the best interests of both the countries. Giving control of Baghdad to Iraqi security forces although doable, will be an extremely challenging task. Violence has plunged in the capital city since surge operations were launched in Iraq last year. But there are still frequent, dramatic attacks that often target Iraqi citizens. Also US needs time to address logistical challenges in order to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq given the huge amount of equipment and infrastructure now under the U.S. flag in Iraq. In the end this was the only best way to get troops quickly out of Iraq so that they can be transferred to Afghanistan to battle Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.
Nepal protests over alleged Maoist murders
Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal is now hot due to the protest against the murder of two boys by young communist league (YCL), sister organization of Maoist, leading ruler of present Nepal. It is said that YCL abducted and murdered two boys of Kathmandu, Nirmal and Pushkar. They were disappered for one month and finally their dead body was found in Bhorlefant of Dhading district near Kathmandu. Initially, Maoist have denied for their participation in this incident. But the evidences show that they are directly involved in this crime. On the eve of second anniversary of signing comprehensive peace accord, once again they became controversial. Before it, they were shamed by the murder of a journalist of Bara district and merchant of Capital city. Due to these incidents, impunity is raising. This type of impunity and crime must be ended and Maoist needs to improve itself.
Brazilian farmers vs Paraguayan landless peasants
In recent years, tensions between Brazilians and Paraguayans are increasing. What is causing this is the strong presence of Brazilian farmers who grow soybeans in Paraguayan territory. These farmers bought their land decades ago, but Paraguayan peasant movement claim that the farms that belong to the Brazilians are illegal. The attacks which before were only invasions, now includes the murder of Brazilians. The tension grew even more when a few days after this episode, "accidentally", the Brazilian army invaded the Paraguayan territory. Since tensions have started, the Brazilian government is trying to convince the Paraguayan government to adopt repressive measures against the xenophobic movement against Brazilians. It is not yet possible to say that the Paraguayan government can contain this movement xenophobic, but for the good of the people of both countries, any solution must be found Brazilian farmers have said that if necessary, leave the Paraguay if properly compensated for their losses.
Michael Schwartz deconstructs the US-Iraq security pact
Everyone should (not) panic about the spread of swine flu, two Iraqis killed in a US raid deemed a violation of a security pact, and the Mars Rover Spirit is back on track for the moment. Marta Costello hosts the gnooze (the g is silent) - today's top stories in about 3 minutes.
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