‘Nuclear Power Far Safer Than Fossil Fuels’

By J. C. Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – Two eminent NASA scientists have taken up the cudgels for nuclear power, which is being increasingly pooh-poohed around the world since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011.

A landmark study by scientist-turned-climate activist James Hansen, who has been more outspoken than virtually all of his peers on the need for climate action, and his NASA colleague Pushker Kharecha avers that nuclear power is far safer than natural gas. According to them, 1.84 million lives have been saved by the worldwide use of nuclear power instead of fossil fuels between1971 and 2009.

Calling For a Nuclear Weapons Convention

By Frederick N. Mattis | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay

ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) – Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda’s Peace Proposal for 2013 notes that worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons will require the legal framework of a treaty banning the weapons (variously called a nuclear abolition treaty, nuclear ban treaty, or Nuclear Weapons Convention – NWC). The SGI president proposes the goal of substantial completion in 2015 of the NWC text. Upon its finalization, then, of course, time will be needed for states to evaluate, sign, ratify, and formally accede to the NWC.

The Story Behind the Cyprus and Euro-Crisis

By Roberto Savio*
IDN-InDepthNews and Other News Analysis

There is more to the Cyprus crisis than has been taken note of by the general public, not the least because of the mainstream media’s failure to provide a contextual analysis of the situation in three-fifths of the island of Cyprus, two-fifths of which are a separate political entity that only Turkey recognises. The lack of transparency and anti-people solution to resolve the Cyprus crisis and crises elsewhere in the 27-nation bloc bode ill for the European Union.

Bad News for Countries in Dire Need of Funds

By Jaya Ramachandran | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – Development aid that some of the world’s poorest countries are direly in need of declined for the second successive year in 2012, according to a new report. The reason, says the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), is the continuing financial crisis and euro zone turmoil, which has led several governments to tighten their budgets.

Israel-Palestine: Waiting For Action To Replace Sweet-Talking

By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – The party has ended, and the hubbub of nice sounding words and phrases has receded into personal and institutional memory. There are other issues calling for urgent attention, including the dangerous war talk from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea.)

For all that, President Barack Obama’s March 2013 visit to the Middle East was, say those who were on the spot, nice while it lasted. Even the rockets fired by Hamas operatives from beleaguered Gaza into Israel and carefully directed not to create excessive damage during Obama’s visit failed to spoil the mood.

Japan Offers Iran Help in Things Nuclear

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

LONDON (IDN) – As western powers debate unabatedly Tehran’s real intentions behind harnessing energy from the atom, Japan is willing to provide Iran technical advice, equipment support and vast experience of abiding by nonproliferation safeguards so that it may practice its right to peacefully use nuclear power, says a Japanese government official serving as research fellow at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

Guerrilla War Threatens Northern Mali

By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN | Geopoliticalmonitor.com) – The apparent interventionist success story of a joint French-Malian military force driving Islamists out of northern Mali was suddenly interrupted by a suicide bombing in Timbuktu on March 30.

The bombing was the first volley in what turned out to be an all-out attack on the city by Islamists, and after several hours of intense street fighting, Malian forces had to call in French troops and air support to help them drive the rebels back into the surrounding desert. The day-long battle left three rebels and one Malian soldier dead, but perhaps more importantly, it afforded the Islamists another valuable opportunity to infiltrate into the heart of Timbuktu.

2014 Nuclear Security Summit Needs An Agenda

By Debak Das* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – A year has passed since the last Nuclear Security Summit took place in Seoul in March 2012 and it has been announced that the next summit shall be held in the Netherlands in 2014. What should be the important concerns for the 2014 summit in the Netherlands? What are the important issues that must be taken note of by the Sherpas for the next summit?

US Nukes Back in South Korea May Reduce Risks

By Bennett Ramberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

LOS ANGELES (IDN | Yale Global) – Following North Korea’s February 12 nuclear weapons test, the UN Security Council adopted tough penalties on Pyongyang. Along with a new round of financial sanctions, the council beefed up inspections of suspect cargo to and from the country and took steps to halt illegal activities by Pyongyang diplomats – all intended to squeeze North’s nuclear and missile programs.

But the sanctions do not address the more serious questions raised by North Korea’s doubling down challenge threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the United States as well as threats against South Korea and Japan:

Experts Urge Overhaul of Global Aid Policies

By Ramesh Jaura* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Two former German policy-makers and practitioners of international development cooperation have decided to break taboos and call in a joint paper for an overhaul of national, European and international aid policies as a befitting response to rapid globalization that “has changed the world more than many in the field of development policy cooperation would like to believe”. They also cast a rather critical look at the 0.7 percent aid target, generally considered as development community’s ‘holy cow’.

“The (present) global development structures and programs are lagging behind the new realities of economic and political needs. There is no longer a ‘North/South’ or ‘donor/recipient’ structure. Developmental paternalism that ‘donors’ continue to practice must therefore give way to genuine partnership and ownership by partners,” say authors of the paper, Eckhard Deutscher and Erich Stather, made available to IDN.

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