Intrnational Agencies News
Maps of interest
East Asia Watch
Dates of the wars:
1775 - 2005: 230 years
11.29.04 US Supreme Court passes on gay marriage issue
WASHINGTON Nov. 29 The justices today rejected, without comment, a challenge by conservative groups to the status of Massachusetts as the only state that sanctions same-sex marriages. The court had been asked to overturn a year-old decision by the Massachusetts high court that legalized gay marriage. [More>>bostonherald.com via
11.29.04 Bush administration rattling sabers over Iran nuclear agreement
Jackie Sanders, the head of the US team involved with the Iran nuclear agreement with the EU, expressed that the US does not rule out taking a resolution against Iran through the Security Council. "We believe Iran's nuclear weapons programme poses a growing threat to international peace and security, and to the global nonproliferation regime," Sanders said. "Far greater pressure, both multilaterally and bilaterally, must be brought to bear on Iran to persuade Iran's leadership that the costs of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability significantly outweighs any misperceived benefits to doing so." [More>>jang.com]
11.29.04 Kuchma favors new elections in Ukraine to resolve dispute
Outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has favoured staging new elections in the Ukraine to resolve the bitter dispute over the 21 November presidential vote. Earlier, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich said he would agree to stage a new presidential vote in two regions if mass fraud were proven to have occurred in the 21 November election. [More>>Al-Jezeera]
11.29.04 Extension of Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud's term of office criticized by Chirac
BEIRUT, Nov. 29 Nayla Assaf of the Daily Star reports that a senior Lebanese government minister Elie Ferzli warned French President Jacques Chirac he had "no right to interfere" in Lebanese politics after Chirac criticized the extension of President Emile Lahoud's term in office on the weekend. Speaking at the Francophone summit in Burkina Faso on the weekend, Chirac called the constitutional amendment extending Lahoud's term for three years a blow to Lebanon's "democratic tradition." Ferzli said, "...the matter is up to the Lebanese people and to Lebanese institutions and is of no concern to foreign powers."
11.29.04 Shifts in metal concentration may indicate earthquake coming
Swedish scientists testing the varying mineral content in water may have discovered a way to forecast earthquakes. The scientists with Stockholm university were able to demonstrate in Iceland that measurements of the mineral content of water can indicate the onslaught of an earthquake. "We measured the presence of the different metals in the underground waters. The tests were several weeks before an earthquake with the strength of magnitude 5 on the Richter scale, the epicenter of which was located 90 kilometers from the station. At first manganese, and then zinc, and then copper, significantly increased. Immediately after the earthquake the quantity of metals in the water returned normal," says Lillemur Klaesson, a post-graduate student of the Stockholm University. [More>>khabar.kz]
11.29.04 Iran nuclear agreement with EU "the most positive ever," says Iranian official
TEHRAN, Nov. 29 Hossein Moussavian, Iranian negotiator on the European Union (EU) nuclear issue, voiced satisfaction over the latest version of the resolution presented by the EU. He called it "the most positive ever." "All the basic modifications demanded by Tehran have been written into the draft resolution. It is the most positive resolution Iran has ever clinched in its nuclear dispute." Moussavian is the spokesman of the Iranian delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors. [More>>xinhuanet]
11.29.04 Islamic parties protest Musharraf as Pakistan's Army Chief
Sunday a rally was held in Karachi to kick-start a campaign to force President Pervez Musharraf out of office. "Musharraf is not acceptable to us, neither in uniform nor without uniform," former governor and PML-N leader Mamnoon Hussain told the crowd of thousands. The rally was addressed by MMA chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and its secretary general Maulana Fazlur Rehman. [More>>jang.com]
11.29.04 Russia tests anti-missile system in Kazakhstan
MOSCOW, Nov. 29 Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov reported to President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Russia has successfully test-launched an anti-missile system in Kazakhstan, the Itar-Tass news agency said. [More>>Xinhuanet]
11.29.04 ASEAN members sign agreement liberalizing trade (Free Trade Agreement)
The agreement being signed Monday my ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations sets deadlines for completing trade and investment liberalization. Sectors that will be liberalized and where tarriffs will be removed include tourism, airlines, agricultural goods, fisheries products, automobiles and electric appliances. [More>>Daily Yomiuri]
11.28.04 Protesters to attend Bush Inaugural Jan. 20; War Crimes complaint against Bush
Thousands of people are expected to flood the city of Washington, DC to say "no to the Bush policies of endless war and domestic repression," says www. peoplejudgebush.org. They will be organizing buses from all over the country to bring activists to the Counter-Inaugural. They were founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (served to January 1969). In August he read a formal War Crimes indictment against George W. Bush et al. The indictment from a historical perspective is unique, since the Attorney General is the chief law officer of the land, and he should have some idea of what is legal and what is not legal. The list of War Crimes by George W. Bush would no doubt form the foundation of a complaint brought before the Hague. The Indictment is at: http://www.peoplejudgebush.org/crimes.shtml. In a letter to Secretary General Kofi Annan on January 29, 2004, Clark outlined his War Crimes complaint against Bush online at: http://www.iacenter.org/rc_un0104.htm.
11.28.04 Suicide mission recruiters more active in Iran 30, 000 recruits
TEHRAN, Iran Associated Press (AP) Nov. 28 - The 300 men filling out forms in the offices of an Iranian aid group were offered three choices: Train for suicide attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq, for suicide attacks against Israelis or to assassinate British author Salman Rushdie....On Nov. 12, the day Iranians traditionally hold pro-Palestinian protests, a spokesman for the Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement said the movement signed up at least 4,000 new volunteers.
11.28.04 Link between 9/11 and Madrid bombings established
MADRID (Reuters) Nov.28 - The FBI has established the clearest link yet between the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, a Spanish newspaper reported Sunday. The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts, the newspaper ABC reported. The train bombings killed 191 people and wounded 1,900 three days before a general election. [More>>Reuters]
11.28.04 Kazakhstan party office bombed
Two powerful blasts have rocked the headquarters of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's ruling Otan (Fatherland) party in Almaty's central district. President Nazarbayev has been in power since 1989 and reports Al-Jezeera, "though he has reformed the oil-rich Central Asian state's ex-Soviet economy, Kazakhstan has never yet held a vote judged free and fair." No information is given on what caused the blasts. [More>>Al-Jezeera]
11.28.04 Sharon calls the EU pro-Palestinian
Associated Press (AP) Nov. 28 Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom Sunday accused the European Union of bias in favor of the Palestinians, hours before leaving to attend a meeting of European and Arab foreign ministers in the Netherlands. EU officials have said they see Yasser Arafat's death on Nov. 11 as providing a window of opportunity for renewed Mideast peace efforts. European diplomats have stepped up contacts over the past two weeks. "I believe it shows that the EU would like to get involved in a peace process in the region," Shalom told a conference of overseas supporters of Israel in Jerusalem Sunday. [More>>Jerusalem Post]
11.28.04 Managers of Russia's largest oil company flee
MOSCOW Nov. 28 (Business Day) All top managers of oil major Yukos have fled Russia fearing arrest under a Kremlin drive to break up and "decapitate" the country's largest oil exporting company, a Yukos source said yesterday. The flight to London of CE Steven Theede and chief financial officer Bruce Misamore leaves Yukos rudderless as it faces ruin under a $25bn back tax demand. "All top managers have left the country because of the atmosphere of fear and terror aimed at paralysing the company," the source said. "The company has been decapitated." [More>>Busines Day]
11.28.04 ASEAN summit taking place November 25-29
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference (their 10th summit) will be held, in Vientiane, the Laotian capital, November 29. Visiting for the first time is Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, whose visit November 28 is also the first of its kind for the key members of China's new leadership. ASEAN is made up of ten members and partners: Members Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; Partners China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, left November 28 to attend the conference. Russia is looking for trade and other economic ties to be prominent on the agenda, including mineral prospecting and mining, the Laotian hydropower industry, transport and communications. Russia intends to increase aircraft, car and lorry, and spare part exports to Laos. Also of concern to members is the continuing problem in Thailand involving its Moslem population in the south. Thailand's neighbors fear the problem will cross into their borders. But Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said he will exit the South-East Asian summit if participants raise concerns about his handling of Muslim insurgents.
11.28.04 Asia complains about falling dollar and US has no savings
Asia is becoming more concerned about the falling dollar. "The problem," says Jack Crooks in a November 25 Asia Times article, is "the US economy is hooked on consumption and imports, while Asia is hooked on savings and exports. It's an unbalanced financial world. US consumption as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). It now stands at more than 70%. US consumer-demand growth averaged 4% annually (in real terms) over the 1995-2003 period; that's almost twice the 2.2% growth elsewhere in industrialized countries, according to Morgan Stanley. This wouldn't be all bad were the consumption being funded out of growing income levels. But it's not. It's coming out of savings.
11.28.04 170 miners trapped in China Gas explosion
A major gas explosion occurred at the Chenjiashan Coal mine in Shaanxi Province, China. 127 miners were rescued alive but 166 remain trapped underground. At least 25 miners were killed in the blast. [More>>Xinhuanet and jang.com]
11.27.04 Ukrain's parliament says poll that gave Yanukovich victory is invalid
Ukraine's parliament said on Saturday the disputed presidential poll handing victory to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich was invalid. This provides a moral boost for opposition supporters massed in the capital. [More>>Reuters]
11.27.04 Human Rights group accuses Bush administration of genocide in Iraq
Mehmet Elkatimis, head of Turkey's parliamentary human rights group, accused the Bush administration of genocide in Iraq. He said Washington has been behaving worse than Adolf Hitler, that "the occupation has turned into barbarism," according to the Friday edition of Yeni Safak. [More>>latimes.com]
11.27.04 Man jumps to his death from Empire State Building
A man appearing in his 30's jumped over a spiked 10-foot barrier surrounding the observation deck of the Empire State Building. He leapt from New York's tallest building about 10:30am Saturday. The last incident of such a suicide was in February 2004. There have been about 35 reported suicides from the building since 1931 when it opened. [More>>Reuters]
11.27.04 Bush administration has new idea on funding American kids' retirement: borrow the money!
The conversion of the American retirement system, wiping out Social Security to provide for personal finaced retirement accounts, is based upon a new Bush administration idea: borrowing. They want to increase the National Debt even more to finance the personal retirement accounts (Bush lingo: personal investment accounts) of our children. What it seems to come down to is that the Bush administration who base all of their financial planning decisions on borrowing believe that if the individual will invest his own before-tax income in a retirement investment (stocks, annuities, bonds, etc.) account, the government can use that money (it would appear) as collateral to borrow more money to fund more operations for which it cannot pay. It is a new way of looking at financing: the money you don't have to spend you can use as collateral with which to borrow more money. What a great idea!
11.27.04 Danes planning new invasion of England
Cyros International, the world's largest sperm bank, based in Aarhus, Denmark, has recruited 40 donors who meet British regulatory requirements to take advantage of a likely sperm shortage in Britain. The shortage is expected beginning April 2005, when sperm donors in Britain lose their anonymity. The Danish sperm bank is stocking up on large amounts of semen to take advantage of the change in the rules in April 2005, when children will have the legal right to trace a parent. Letting children trace their biological fathers tends to reduce sperm donation by more than 85 per cent, according to studies in other countries. The Danish donors are mostly blond, blue-eyed students over 6ft tall. This invasion of the Danes is expected to be more gentle than the last one (twelve hundred years ago, when the Danes spread their seed in Britain by rape, pillage and plunder). [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
11.27.04 Queen's personal guard assaults nephew of Saudi billionaire Wafic Said
Five men from the Household Calvary Regiment, the sovereign's personal body guard, engaged in an exchange where one of the soldiers threw a bottle at Wafic Said, 23, as he was heading towards a disco outside of London. He was struck in the face and lost an eye as a result of the attack. "I was speaking Arabic. That is the only reason I think they started swearing at us," Said commented. [More>>Al-Jezeera]
11.27.04 November is the second worst month in US troop casualties
"As of Tuesday, 20,802 troops have been treated at Landstuhl from injuries received in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom," writes Ben Murray for the US military's Stars and Stripes European edition newspaper. November, with about 109 US soldiers killed, has been the deadliest month for US troops since the March 2003 invasion. [Story picked up from Al-Jezeera]
11.26.04 America's soft underbelly, her ports, are enormous targets
An article by Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writer, "Ports called 'Enormous Target,'" revisits the continuing problem of there not being enough security in our ports. In his article Friday on the port of Los Angeles he notes that 12,000 containers arrive there daily and on average 43 of them are inspected by Homeland Security. [More>>latimes.com]
11.26.04 Indonesian 6.4 Richter scale earthquake kills eleven people
A quake Friday in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua left 11 dead and 60 injured. It measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and hit the coastal town of Nabire at 9:25am. [More>>jang.com.pk]
11.26.04 President Musharraf sees common solutions in the disputes in Kashmir and Palestine
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf sees a chance to seek common ground in the resolution of the disputes of Palestine and Kashmir. He left on a tour Friday where he will visit Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. In the second leg of his 12-day tour he will meet with US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac. Last week he said that the Palestinian issue must be a top priority for the US if terrorism is to be defeated. He knows what is involved in combating terrorists. His 70,000 Pakistani troops stationed on the border with Afghanistan have captured about 600 Al-Qaeda figures including several key operatives, though the network's leader Osama bin Laden remains at large. The dispute over Kashmir is between Pakistan and India, involving religious bounds, Moslems against infidels. Musharraf said, "I think both the Palestinian dispute and the Kashmir dispute are absolutely ripe for resolution and we have to resolve them. "That will bring considerable stability into the world." He advocates a strategy under which the Muslim world should encourage moderation while the West must focus on settling political disputes affecting Muslims. His trip will also focus on increasing trade and economic ties.
Musharraf recently secured a $70 million deal with China to develop a zinc mine and production facilities in Pakistan's Balochistan province. [More>>jang.com]
11.26.04 Anti-dumping law may cut exports of American hogs
The World Trade Organization (WTO) allowed sanctions to be placed by the EU three years ago for US anti-dumping legislation, which the WTO ruled to be illegal. The illicit anti-dumping law, called the Byrd Amendment, was passed in 2000 and under it the US government redistributes anti-dumping duties to the US companies that allege dumping, or products selling abroad at less than the market price in the domestic market. US companies reaped $561 million (463 million euros) as a result of the law in 2001 and 2002, but the actual settlements may be closer to $1 billion. The EU may be turning up the heat on the issue, however, and US exports targeted in sanctions against the Byrd Amendment range from live pigs to electronics, whiskey and beer. This is not the final list of products from the US that may be sanctioned, since WTO countries are still submitting their lists to Geneva. [More>>jang.com.pk]
11.26.04 Miserable climates and drunken presidents, but that's their problem
SINGAPORE Asian countries will be lurching from one climate extreme to another, with impoverished farmers battling droughts, floods, disease, food shortages and rising sea levels. Half of the world's 6.3 billion population will be affected by this nightmare scenario that now seems to be at hand, at least by 2050. [More>>planetark via tajikistannews.net]
11.26.04 India plagued by separatist groups
An Indian separatist group, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) claimed responsibility for blowing up an oil well on Thursday. The blast in the northeast of India injured at least five soldiers. A spokesman for the ULFA said that the blast was in response to the Indian governments' lack of response to their offer of peace talks. The group wants independence for the Assam state which is rich in oil and tea. The oil well belongs to the state-owned firm of Oil India ltd. ULFA took up arms in 1979 in its struggle for independence. Another separatist group, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, also has been involved in attacks against the Indian government. [More>>Al-Jazeera].
11.26.04 Japan still miffed over Chinese oil wells off coast
China's and Japan's rift over Chinese offshore gas development is not being ameliorated. Speaking again after the Asia_Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, President Hu Jintao of China and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi did visit the Yasukuni Shrine together. [More>>Daily Yyomiuri]
11.26.04 Russians believe Ukraine's presidential vote protest is a western circus indicts US for undemocratic behavior
The declaration by western nations to turn the election to Yushchenko is viewed as a western inspired circus with the objective to put western missiles along the border of the Ukraine and Russia. They view Yushchenko as a stooge of Britain and the US. "The strong arm tactics used by the western stooge, Yushchenko, are typical of the antidemocratic processes set in motion by rampant and militant Washington, crushed in the grip on a monetarist, neoconservative crypto-fascist clique of elitists, whose corporate greed speaks louder than the more of international diplomacy and whose thirst to dominate the world's resources in the lifetimes of Rumsfeld and Cheney throws any moral concept into the trash bin." [Article by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey. More>>pravda.ru]
11.26.04 Largest dunes in China's western desert cap artesian springs
Not all deserts are dry, according to this story. Scientists have long wondered why the world's largest sand dunes don't move, though they are in an area of strong winds. A report on a dig by Ling Li of the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues, revealed that 20 centimeters below the surface of a dune they struck water. When they dug to one meter water began to seep into the trench. The water comes from melting snow on Qilian Mountain 500 kilometers southwest of the desert. [More>>Nature.com; via Daily Yyomiuri]
11.26.04 South Korea's nuclear developments a concern to IAEA and China
China requires that South Korea makes all necessary efforts to provide operational records and detailed information on plutonium separation and uranium spectroscopy experiments. China believes that maintaining the non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is highly significant to maintaining the region's security and stability. These comments were expressed 11.25.04 in Vienna by Zhang Yan, permanent representative of China to the UN and other international organizations in Vienna, at the IAEA's Board of Governors meeting. [More>>Xinhuanet]
11.26.04 Eight students killed by man with a knife in China; a continuing problem
A man killed eight students in the dormitory of Henan high school and injured four others with a knife Thursday night. The assault took place in Ruzhou city, of central China's Henan Province. The killer escaped and is still at large. Previous mass killings by men armed with knives have occurred in China. [More>>Xinhuanet]
11.26.04 Microsoft wins software bids in China but China concerned it's selling out its own software developers
The giant Microsoft has won procurements in China for operating systems and the Microsoft Office applications against bids by Chinese competitors. Concerns about the bidding process and strangulation of Chinese home software developers were expressed by China's officials. [More>>Xinhuanet]
11.22.04 Iran to host conference in Egypt
Iran will host a meeting in Egypt with its neighbors on November 30. The meeting will be on Iraq at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, speaking to the AFP, said that the international conference originally proposed back in June and would aim to "reassure our neighbors" over the intentions of the US-led forces in Iraq. [More>>IranMania]
11.26.04 US dollar climbed above $1.32 to the euro and fell again against the yen
The US Dollar fell to a record low Friday, with the euro climbing above $1.32 for the first time. The dollar fell to its lowest against the yen in nearly five years. [More>>Xinhuanet]
11.22.04; 11.26.04 Update US twin deficits are causing Japanese jitters: the story behind the collapse of the dollar
While this story has been breaching for several weeks, it will continue to be a big item in the news until the world press loses interest in the money others are losing. So we're keeping it at the top of the page.
The US deficit, being the source of the declining dollar, perpetuates further debt and increases interest rates and inflation. About half of the US $6 Trillion debt is owned by foreign investors (primarily banks). When investors redeem their bonds in a period when the dollar is declining, as is the case in the two Bush administrations, they lose money on their investment in US bonds. This causes potential buyers of US bonds to back out of the US bond market. When buyers back away from the US bond market, the US has to raise interest rates to draw them back into the market. Following the increase in the prime rate, mortgages and other loan rates increase.
The National Debt is an exponential debt. The adding of interest, plus continued borrowing / sales of US Bonds, compounds the debt. The debt takes on the form of a "J" curve. President Bush claims that he will "halve the debt," presumably in the next four years. The Clinton years, 1993-2000, represented the most fiscally responsible administration since Nixon (see "Running a government with a credit card" below). During Clinton's term Congress had adapted and applied a "pay as you go" process, preventing further borrowing to fund the government and actually paid down the National debt through their diligence. The dedication of Congress and the President during the Clinton years is not present in the current administration of Bush II, and reducing the deficit, let alone the National Debt, would seem improbable. It appears that the National Debt has reached a point of no return, where interest on the debt alone will consume any efforts to retire the debt. The debt from 1974 through 2009 (the data are current as of 11.22.04, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the years 2004 - 2009 are OMB estimates) look like this:
The National Debt data are as follows: US Office of Budget & Management National Debt
A forty-year amortization table on a loan of $5 trillion (double everything for a loan of $10 trillion) at 7% interest:
It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing and not allowed their spendthrift President to get out of hand. Then again, there is hope that Americans will start to pay attention to their accounts and those they elected to manage them. Total receipts estimated in the Federal Budget for 2004 are just short of $2 trillion." Growth in receipts. Total receipts in 2004 are estimated to be $1922.0 billion, an increase of $85.8 billion or 4.7 percent relative to 2003. Receipts are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.0 percent between 2004 and 2008, rising to $2,520.9 billion. This growth in receipts is largely due to assumed increases in incomes resulting from both real economic growth and inflation." [2004 FEDERAL RECEIPTS AND COLLECTIONS, p. 57]
11.18.04; 11.20 Update: Battle for Fallujah and Mosul spreads
11.20.04 Violence continues to rage across Iraq as insurgents try to stall the January elections. Fallujah is still being swept clean of rebels and ammo dumps. A government official and her two guards were gunned down while stalled in traffic.
11.22.04 Saudis expanding Islamic schools in South Asia
In the beginning....
President Bush launches illegal war
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