By Said Khaloozadeh* – IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The signing of the agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the member states of the P5+1 group of world powers, first of all scored a victory for a negotiated and diplomatic approach over the policy of sanctions and mounting pressure.
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 5 2013 (IPS) – As the international community fleshes out a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be unveiled next year, civil society activists and U.N. officials agree their success will hinge on policies that address the nexus of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
BANGKOK, Dec 4 2013 (IPS) – Only 16 percent of Africa’s population of over a billion is online. But as Internet and mobile phone connectivity grows rapidly, the continent wants to join forces with Asian powerhouses to change its digital landscape.
LYNN FRIES – The Real News Network
C. Raghavan on why 99% of people in both developing & advanced economies including the US & EU, need trade ministers of developing countries to rebut the US-EU led agenda at the 9th WTO Ministerial – December 3, 13
Asoka Bandarage* – The Huffington Post
As the climate crisis intensifies, extreme weather events such as the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are becoming increasingly frequent. At the final hour, a compromise was reached between representatives of the developed and developing countries on a funding ‘mechanism’ to pay for climate-related ‘loss and damage’ at the recent 19th Annual Meeting of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) known as COP 19 (Conference of the Parties) in Warsaw. While this represents a victory for the Group of 77 developing countries, the vague, non-binding wording of the final document fell far short of the detailed funding commitment expected from developed nations.
Jessica Weisberg -The Nation
We may think of Canada as our kinder, more generous neighbor, but a new study by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic indicates that the country’s has adapted a decidedly uncanadian approach to refugees. The authors of the study write that Canada is “systematically closing its borders to asylum seekers and avoiding its refugee protection obligations under domestic and international law.”
By John Pilger
England is two countries. One is dominated by London, the other remains in its shadow. When I first arrived from Australia, it seemed no one went north of Watford and those who had emigrated from the north worked hard to change their accents and obscure their origins and learn the mannerisms and codes of the southern comfortable classes. Some would mock the life they had left behind. They were changing classes, or so they thought.
Chakravarthi Raghavan* – SUNS
As trade ambassadors in Geneva, having packed their bags are wending their way across half-the-world, and trade ministers from around the globe, gather next week in Bali for the biennial Ministerial Conference of the WTO, the multilateral trading system is once again trying to prove the ‘uncertainty’ principle of quantum theory in physics.
By Julio Godoy* – IDN-InDepth NewsInterview
BERLIN (IDN) – Robert Jacobs was born 53 years ago, at the height of the cold war, amidst the then reigning paranoia of nuclear annihilation of humankind. In school, he was eight years old. “We learned about how to survive a nuclear attack. We were told that the key to survival was to always be vigilant in detecting the first signs of a nuclear attack.”
Analysis by Jim Lobe*
WASHINGTON, Nov 29 2013 (IPS) – From the Middle East to the East China Sea, the last week’s events have offered a particularly vivid example of the much-heralded shift in foreign policy priorities under the administration of President Barack Obama.
The Editors – The Nation
There’s more work to be done, but this was a big win for democracy
During his first five years in office, President Obama faced unprecedented obstruction of routine executive and judicial nominations: sixteen executive branch nominees were filibustered, compared with twenty throughout US history.
Lizzy Davies – The Guardian
Italian parliament expels 77-year-old after conviction for tax fraud at his Mediaset empire but tycoon vows to stay in politics
Showing on a loop on the screens outside Palazzo Grazioli was a compilation of clips that had a strangely retro feel to it. In one, Silvio Berlusconi was laughing with Tony Blair; in another, he was chatting affably with George W Bush. Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan, even Pope Benedict XVI: the roll call of former leaders went on – and Berlusconi, in a somewhat more youthful guise, was with them all.
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and ELISABETTA POVOLEDO – The New York Times
In his first nine months as leader of one billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis has parceled out glimpses of his vision for remaking the church in homilies and news conferences, interviews and offhand remarks to visitors.
Ambassador Michael Punke
Deputy USTR and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization
11 Route de Pregny
Dear Ambassador Froman,
We write to express our dismay at U.S. opposition to proposals at the World Trade Organization (WTO) by developing countries to address their food security objectives, including reducing volatility in food prices and supplies. We urge you to support the G33’s proposal to allow for greater public spending to ensure more stable food supplies and prices.
by Omar Kayed* – Al-Hayat / Al Monitor
Fundamentalists, radicals, terrorists, extremists… there are many names given to anyone who carries a black flag, grows his beard, wears a shortened robe and screams Allahu akbar (God is greater than…) on the battlefield. The region is passing though a dangerous stage. Suicide attacks have spread and the scope of chaos has widened, in light of al-Qaeda’s growing influence. It is a game in which death has become the easiest way to achieve goals, by any means deemed appropriate.
Stephen Leahy – DeSmog Canada
Canada and every other rich country need to crash their CO2 emissions 10% per year starting in 2014 to have any hopes of ensuring a not-super-dangerous climate for our grandchildren, said Kevin Anderson of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester.
By RON WYDEN, MARK UDALL and MARTIN HEINRICH* – The New York Times
WASHINGTON — THE framers of the Constitution declared that government officials had no power to seize the records of individual Americans without evidence of wrongdoing, and they embedded this principle in the Fourth Amendment. The bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records — so-called metadata — by the National Security Agency is, in our view, a clear case of a general warrant that violates the spirit of the framers’ intentions. This intrusive program was authorized under a secret legal process by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, so for years American citizens did not have the knowledge needed to challenge the infringement of their privacy rights.
By Richard Kim* – The Nation
The problems with the Affordable Care Act stem from government being too small and weak, not too big and powerful.
Just a few weeks ago, on the heels of the Tea Party’s disastrous shutdown of the government, pundits were predicting a sea change in American politics. Republicans were on the run, while Democrats were looking to recapture the House and revive a can-do, muscular liberalism.
By Stephen Leahy
WARSAW, Nov 24 2013 (IPS) – The U.N. climate talks in Warsaw ended in dramatic fashion Saturday evening in what looked like a schoolyard fight with a mob of dark-suited supporters packed around the weary combatants, Todd Stern of the United States and Sai Navoti of Fiji representing G77 nations.
WASHINGTON, Nov (IPS COLUMNIST SERVICE) – The linchpin of an empire is the link between two elites, one in the imperial centre, the others in the peripheries. Symmetric alliances exist, but not when there is a superpower at the centre.