Middle east elections shake up region's peace diplomacy
By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut
June has been a month of elections in the Middle East. As happens every now and again in a region pretty thin on democracy and heavy on dynastic rule, there are elections that matter. The outcome of the Lebanese and Iranian elections fall in this rather rare category, with the Lebanese result retaining a status quo the West is happy with, while the Iranian 'result' is further souring relations with the US and Europe.
International organisations need to keep operating in emergencies
By Alan Osborn, International News Services
The European Commission re-opened for business on Monday last month (May 25) after a week of muddle and inaction caused by a fire in an electrical shaft that caused no injuries but seemed to put all business on hold for a few days. Happily for many of the 2,000 EU employees who work in the building, the week of the fire contained two public holidays and it was an easy matter to stretch these to a full week off from the office.
Time to make the European elections matter
By Keith Nuthall, International News Services
This week, a small proportion of Europe’s electors (maybe less than 30%) will drift over to their polling station to do their European Union (EU) civic duty and vote for a European Parliament representative. That the proportion of EU citizens undertaking this easy task has dwindled is testimony to the failure of the parliament to do its job: to exercise power on behalf of the majority of the EU population.
Indian economy's key role in global recovery boosted by Congress victory
By Raghavendra Verma, in New Delhi
The recent victory of the Congress party in the Indian general elections is a positive signal for international business and diplomacy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a good chemistry with many world leaders and has aptly stuck to his international commitments in the past - the successful implementation of the Indo-US deal on nuclear power is an example.
Sri Lanka's victory over rebels may inform counter-insurgency worldwide
By Munza Mushtaq, in Colombo, Sri Lanka
The destruction of a ruthless armed seperatist organisation in a small south Asian nation may provide lessons to counter-insurgency units fighting terrorists and rebel groups around the world. Sri Lanka citizens rejoiced this week at the end of its quarter century long war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - dubbed as the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit.
Anti-piracy groups' court victory illustrates lawlessness of Internet
By Katherine Dunn, International News Services
Anti-piracy organisations are hailing as a victory the conviction in
their home country Sweden of the founders of the world's largest 'torrent'
digital fire-sharing site The Pirate Bay. But the case is really just
another round in an ongoing game of whack-a-mole that has seen national law
unable to contain transnational intellectual property rights infringement.
Oman bucks Gulf recession trend
By Paul Cochrane, in Muscat, Oman
While construction workers are downing tools throughout most Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and the future of massive infrastructure projects is in jeopardy, the Sultanate of Oman is bucking the regional trend by investing billions of dollars to bolster its nascent tourism sector, aviation and industrial base.
G20 should stop protectionists deepening recession
By Thompson Ayodele, in Lagos
As the Group of 20 top industrialised and developing economies prepared to meet in London, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned them that "the economic crisis may soon be compounded by an equally severe crisis of global instability." A key problem is that trade is deteriorating every day and political pressures demand import restrictions to protect employment. This is no way out: such protectionism would make this particular depression ‘Great’.
International brawl looms over Arctic rights
By Lorraine Mallinder, in Montréal
As the polar ice cap continues to shrink, the five nations surrounding the Arctic Ocean are hurriedly positioning themselves for what is shaping up to be one of the biggest geopolitical brawls of the coming years.
News agencies offer editors value for money in hard economic times
By Keith Nuthall , International News Services
In tough recessionary times, publishers sensibly look to the bottom line. Agencies such as International News Services offer quality well-priced global coverage. Publications gain access to more than 40 experienced journalists worldwide, and the amount they need to spend can vary according to budgets and editorial demands.