Pakistan Observer


Will to cooperate decides US position abroad

US President Barrack Obama finally pinpointed his foreign policy during a recent interview with The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Obama described his doctrine as “we will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.” ... Friday, April 24, 2015 Details

U.N. calls for urgent EU steps to save migrants

Geneva—The European Union must urgently set up a rescue operation for migrants at sea and commit to receiving significantly higher numbers of refugees, top U.N. officials and the International Organization for Migration said on Thursday. ... Friday, April 24, 2015 Details

A hashtag’s unintended consequences in Nigeria

A girl holds a sign during a march to mark the one-year anniversary of the mass kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from a secondary school in Chibok by Boko Haram militants, in Abuja. A year after the Twitter campaign “#bringbackourgirls” put Nigeria on front pages around the world, the whereabouts of 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014 remains unknown. The global clamor for their release, ferocious in the months after the kidnappings, is now modest, by comparison. But the campaign — and even more, the brutal conflict that sparked it — has had major consequences. Over the past year, Nigeria has changed. ... Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Details

Ramadi exodus compounds Iraq humanitarian crisis

Baghdad—Some pushed wheelbarrows piled high with their belongings across the only bridge to Baghdad. Others balanced battered suitcases on their heads, or held babies aloft so they would not be crushed in the exodus from Iraq’s western province of Anbar. ... Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Details

Blasts tear through Yemen capital after air strikes

Sanaa—At least 15 people were dead and there were fears for dozens more Monday after air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition set off explosions that tore through Yemen’s rebel-held capital. Medics said at least 15 civilians were killed and dozens wounded and there were fears of a much higher death toll. ... Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Details

Russia gives green light to China for building bridge

Beijing—According to Russian media reports, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has tasked Minister of Transport Maksim Sokolov with taking measures by May 5, 2015, to begin the construction of the Russian section of the railway bridge to China across the Heilongjiang River. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

China concerned at New Zealand-US plan to spy on diplomats

Wellington—China on Sunday expressed concern about a report that New Zealand and United States spy agencies planned to hack into a data link between Chinese government buildings in Auckland. The plan was revealed in documents from US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Herald on Sunday newspaper reported. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

S. Korean police question dozens after violent ferry protest

Seoul, South Korea—South Korean police said Sunday that they were questioning dozens of protesters after violence broke out at a rally denouncing the government’s handling of a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people a year ago. Police used water cannons and pepper spray to break up thousands of protesters in the capital, Seoul, on Saturday night. Dozens of police officers and protesters were injured during the demonstration. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

Addressing Extremism: Lessons from Tunisia

IN the wake of the recent attack in Tunis, Dr Rafik Abdessalem, Tunisia’s former Foreign Minister, outlines why social and economic inclusion may be the best strategy for governments looking to address violent extremism. Italics. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

Egypt Brotherhood trial relied on single testimony: HRW

Cairo—The prosecution’s evidence in a trial this month of 51 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt relied on the testimony of one police officer, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday. HRW said the prosecution had presented little evidence to show the defendants did anything other than spread news about a mass sit-in in Rabaa square in 2013 and organize peaceful protests. The court on April 11 had condemned 14 men to death and 37 others to a life sentence for their actions in opposition to the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 by the military under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is now president. HRW’s criticism of Egypt’s judiciary comes two days before a separate trial involving Mursi in which he could face a possible death sentence. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

France provides first weapons to Lebanon to fight IS

Paris—The first French weapons from a $3 billion Saudi-funded programme will arrive in Lebanon on Monday as allies seek to bolster the country’s defences against the Islamic State group and other jihadists pressing along its Syrian border. France is expected to deliver 250 combat and transport vehicles, seven Cougar helicopters, three small corvette warships and a range of surveillance and communications equipment over four years as part of the $3 billion (2.8 billion-euro) modernisation programme. ... Monday, April 20, 2015 Details

The Global Arms Trade

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal - “The ‘Hyundaization’ of the Global Arms Industry”- makes a provocative argument, namely that “new defense exporters are joining the global game with advanced and well-priced offerings, creating potential threat to the U.S. and its allies, and weakening Western influence.” In other words, the proliferation of “good enough” weapons by neophyte arms exporters such as Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey, offered at rock-bottom prices, will cut into the United States’ sizable predominance in the global arms trade. The emergence of such new supplier-states will have grave economic repercussions for U.S. arms producers, and negative ramifications for Washington’s global sway. ... Sunday, April 19, 2015 Details

Putin ready to work with United States

Moscow—Russia has key interests in common with the United States and needs to work with it on a common agenda, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday in a television interview. ... Sunday, April 19, 2015 Details

Iraqi forces retake most of Baiji refinery

Baghdad—Iraqi forces regained control over most of Baiji refinery on Saturday, security officials said, reversing some gains by Islamic State militants who have gone on the offensive this week. ... Sunday, April 19, 2015 Details