Pakistan Observer

International

The Kobani riddle

THE brave women of Kobani - where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh - are about to be betrayed by the “international community”. These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim’s goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what’s the real deal in Kobani? ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

The IS fight is turning into a ‘dumb’ war

I DON’T oppose all wars,” said Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, in 2002. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. Few would describe Obama’s use of military force against the Islamic State as rash, given the time he took in deciding to act. But the more we learn about this intervention, the more it appears to violate the “dumb” half of the president’s dictum. The purposes, parameters and prospects of the war are increasingly uncertain. Americans have a right to be concerned about the whole enterprise. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

UK PM protests EU demand for more funds

Brussels—Britain says its prime minister is protesting a European Union request for an additional 2.1 billion euro ($2.65 billion) contribution to the EU coffers at a time of increasing pressure at home for the country to leave the bloc. A British official, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, on Friday confirmed a report in the Financial Times that his nation had been asked to top up its contribution by some 20 percent because of its improving economy. He said the Netherlands had also been asked for a top-up. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

US wants Indonesia as SE Asia leader

Washington—The remarkable rise of Indonesia’s new president has captured popular imagination at home and won praise internationally, but Joko “Jokowi” Widodo still needs to prove his foreign policy prowess. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

Aussie medics transplant ‘dead’ heart

Canberra—Australian surgeons said Friday they have used hearts which had stopped beating in successful transplants, in what they said was a world first that could change the way organs are donated. Until now, doctors have relied on using the still-beating hearts of donors who have been declared brain dead, often placing the recovered organs on ice and rushing them to their recipients. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

Is Russia Heading for a New 1998 Crisis?

NOT since the financial crisis of August 1998 has Russia faced the very real possibility of a currency crisis that could seriously threaten the fundamental stability of the country’s economic and political system. Though the ruble’s loss of 20 percent of its value this year falls well short of the 70 percent collapse in 1998 and is even lower — in relative terms — than the 30 percent decline experienced in 2008, there are key parallels between the 1998 crisis and the crisis developing in Russia today. Both Russia’s leaders and citizens would do well to remember the lessons of August 1998 as they face the coming storm. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

Iraqi forces months away from attacking IS

Macdill Air Force Base (Florida)—Iraqi forces are months away from being able to start waging any kind of sustained ground offensive against the Islamic State and any similar effort in Syria will take longer, officials at the U.S. military’s Central Command said Friday. In Iraq, the timing will depend on a host of factors, some out of the military’s control - from Iraqi politics to the weather. Iraqi forces also must be trained, armed and ready before major advances, like one to retake the city of Mosul, which fell to the Islamic State in June.”It’s not imminent. But we don’t see that that’s a years-long effort to get them to a place to where they can be able to go on a sustained counter-offensive,” a military official said, instead describing it as a “months-long” endeavor. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

‘Independent Palestine state in 3 years’

‘Independent Palestine  state in 3 years’ Ramallah (West Bank)—The Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator has laid out in the clearest terms yet plans to establish an independent Palestinian state within three years, even if it means ignoring pleas from the United States not to push ahead. Expressing deep frustration and a degree of resignation that years of efforts to forge a two-state solution with the Israelis have made next to no progress, Saeb Erekat said there was no option other than to make a unilateral push for statehood. ... Saturday, October 25, 2014 Details

Denver girls suspected of links with IS

Denver—Authorities are investigating whether three teenage girls from suburban Denver who may have been trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria have friends or associates with similar intentions. ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

Medic turns jihadi in Israel

Hura (Israel)—He was a quiet whiz kid at the top of his class in Israel, who overcame tough odds in this minority Arab village to become a star medical student and hospital intern. Could Othman Abu al-Qiyan have been radicalized by Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians - or something else? ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

US to increase immigrants number

Washington—The Homeland Security Department appears to be preparing for an increase in the number of immigrants applying for work permits after President Barack Obama announces his long-promised plans for executive actions on immigration reform later this year. ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

Stark choices for Syria

THE choice in Syria should not be between dictatorship and terrorism, the French defence minister was quoted as saying during his visit to Qatar earlier this week. That is absolutely right. The missing element in this wise assessment, though, is that such a choice, however problematic, is not on offer. ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

OIC women’s moot stresses on empowerment

BAKU—The Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of OIC Member States concluded its proceedings in Baku, Azerbaijan on 21 October 2014 with the adoption of the Baku Declaration, which stresses on empowering women in all fields. Held under the theme “The Role of Women in Sustainable Development”, the two-day conference called for acknowledging women’s full rights, opportunities, participation and leadership, which requires comprehensive gender-responsive measures encompassing budgetary, legal, policy and institutional frameworks. ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

Syrian forces down two jets over Aleppo

Damascus—The Syrian air force has destroyed two of three jets seized and reportedly test flown over Aleppo by the Islamic State group last week, according to the country’s information minister. ... Thursday, October 23, 2014 Details

Malaysia to cooperate with Indonesia

Jakarta—Within hours after Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s seventh president, he and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak got down to business. Najib said Joko embraced the idea of producing an “Asean car” in collaboration with Proton. He said the possibility of starting the project was discussed during his courtesy call on the president, popularly known as Jokowi, at the presidential palace Istana Merdeka here yesterday. ... Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Details

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