Sunday, October 17, 2010

View on the News 14-10-2010

Global unemployment to trigger further social unrest, UN agency forecasts


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned of growing social unrest because it fears global employment will not now recover until 2015. This is two years later than its earlier estimate that the labour market would rebound to pre-crisis levels by 2013. About 22 million new jobs are needed – 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing nations. The United Nations work agency today warned of a long “labour market recession” and noted that social unrest related to the crisis had already been reported in at least 25 countries, including some recovering emerging economies.

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom accuses the US of crimes against humanity

The United States government has apologised for deliberately infecting hundreds of people in Guatemala with gonorrhoea and syphilis as part of medical tests more than 60 years ago. None of those infected - mentally ill patients and prisoners - consented. US President Barack Obama has called Mr Colom to apologise and has said the acts ran contrary to American values. Evidence of the programme was unearthed by Prof Susan Reverby at Wellesley College. She says the Guatemalan government gave permission for the tests. No offer of compensation has yet been made, but an investigation will be launched into the specifics of the study, which took place between 1946 and 1948.White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday the news was "shocking, it's tragic, it's reprehensible". The study by Prof Reverby shows that US government medical researchers infected almost 700 people in Guatemala with two sexually transmitted diseases. The experiment ran from 1932 to 1972, with President Bill Clinton eventually apologising for it.

Muslims should conform to German values: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded on Monday that Muslims living in Germany conform to "fundamental German values", saying there was no leeway on the issue. She spoke a day after Germany's largely ceremonial president, Christian Wulff, had reached out to Muslims in a speech marking 20 years of reunification, assuring them they belonged. The Christian Democrat chancellor, in remarks promoting a fiercely conservative book by one of her supporters, said Muslims in Germany must orient themselves without reservation to Germany's fundamental values and constitution. "There is no leeway on this," she said, adding that Germans' perceptions of Islam were dominated by Sharia (Islamic law), the lack of equality between men and women and honour killings. Germany had freedom of religion, and Islam was welcome, "but it must be a form of Islam that feels devoted to our fundamental values", Merkel said. If it were not, fears would develop among Germans, "and that is hardly something we want to happen".

West warned that Islam insults risk 'civilisation clash'

Kings, emirs and presidents from Muslim nations have made pressing appeals at the United Nations for the West to clamp down on attacks on Islam which they warned is a growing threat to international security. In speeches to the UN General Assembly, leaders said that "Islamophobia" was causing a growing Muslim-West divide and one top Arab minister put the international community on guard against a "civilisation clash".But Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar said,"We disagree with the attribution of this so-called terrorism to the Islamic religion because this - in addition to being incorrect - is a historical injustice that is refuted by evidence from recent history." He said "gratuitous violent actions" in the US, Europe and Asia in the late 20th century were never labelled as being American, European or Asian terrorism. Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said,""We find the West, in general, being drawn into a clash with the Muslim world. This clash will serve no one except extremists and those who hold perverted ideas on both sides. It will not be in the interest of security and stability in the world." King Abdullah II of Jordan said it is "essential to resist forces of division that spread misunderstanding." Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak told the UN assembly that the world's 1.5 billion Muslims were offended by "attempts to demonise Islam." He added: "It intensifies the divide between the broad Muslim world and the West."

Erdogan: EU is putting up hurdles to Turkey's membership

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained here Monday that the European Union was putting up hurdles to Turkey's accession to the 27-member bloc."Turkey is constantly being held up and various hurdles are being put in our path. This is not right," Erdogan told a news conference after meeting his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borisov."Some hindrances are being applied for Turkey which were not applied for any other EU candidate," Erdogan said.But he added: "We are resolute in continuing our accession negotiations with the EU."While Turkey has been allowed to open certain negotiation chapters with the bloc, it has not yet been allowed to close any of them. And other chapters were a long way from being opened, Erdogan said.Ankara kicked off membership talks with the EU in 2005.

Iraq’s oil reserve 505 billion barrels

Iraq’s oil reserve underground is estimated at 505 billion barrels, the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahrastani said on Monday. “The reserve that can be extracted is estimated at 143 billion barrels,” al-Shahrestani told the press. He explained that the estimations were made in coordination with “oil companies.” “The al-Qurna oilfield in Basra (southern Iraq) is the biggest in the country, with a reserve totaling at 43 billion barrels,” al-Shahrestani added. He noted that the al-Qurna oilfield is the second biggest throughout the world.

Chinese, Russian troops in Central Asia military exercises

Thousands of Russian, Chinese and Kazakh soldiers began two weeks of war games in Kazakhstan Monday, preparing to counter regional threats ranging from drug traffickers to extremists. More than 3,000 troops will take part in the "Peace Mission 2010" exercises, the largest in three years involving the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a six-nation group. The SCO has focused in recent months on fighting terrorism and radicalism in the region, as well as drug trafficking from Afghanistan."Now and for the next few years, terrorism, separatism and extremism will remain serious factors in the stability of this region and the world," Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of staff of the Chinese armed forces, said.China, Russia and Kazakhstan each sent 1,000 troops to the exercises, which are taking place at the Matybulak military range in southern Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's defence ministry said more than 300 military vehicles and 50 Kazakh, Chinese and Russian aircraft and helicopters would join the anti-terrorist drills.Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan each sent 150 troops, the ministry said. Uzbekistan was invited, but said it would not send troops.

14/10/10

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