Half-truths Prevail in the Middle East

By Julio Godoy
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BERLIN (IDN) – Late last August, during the conference of the non-aligned countries in Tehran, the Iranian press quoted the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi saying that the government of Bahrain, given its dismal human rights record, had lost whatever legitimacy it had. Nothing surprising in this quote: The regime of Bahrain has indeed a dismal human rights record, it latest performance being to strip opposition leaders of the Bahraini nationality, after harassing them for many months.

US Election: Generals and Their ‘Pen Pals’ Hog the Headlines

By Ernest Corea*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

Washington DC (IDN) – There’s nothing like a real-life scandal involving a spymaster, who is also a bemedalled and highly regarded retired general, to deprive a big-time political event of major headlines, whether in the print or electronic media.

The scandal turned convolute, and the entire activity considered worthy of even more headlines, when the FBI informed the Pentagon that the retired general’s successor in the army (another general) had exchanged “potentially inappropriate” emails with the woman whose informal complaint to an FBI agent sparked the investigation that initially exposed the scandal.

Battle for Internet Control Looms Over ITU Meet

By Kalinga Seneviratne
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

SINGAPORE (IDN) – A battle for the control of the Internet threatens to overshadow the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) to be held in Dubai from December 3 to 14. WCIT-12 is a United Nations mega-talkfest to be held under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the inter-governmental UN agency entrusted with telecommunication issues.

Nuclear and Chem-Bio Weapons Prohibition

By Frederick N. Mattis*
IDN-InDepth NewsEssay

ANNAPOLIS, USA (IDN) – A gathering theme in world affairs is the desirability of a treaty [convention] to ban nuclear weapons. Such a treaty would bring the following benefits to all states and people: freedom from nuclear war or nuclear attack, freedom from possible “false-alarm” nuclear missile launch, and freedom from possible acquisition by terrorists of a nuclear weapon from a state’s arsenal.

India’s Engagement in the Arctic Desired

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

COPENHAGEN (IDN) – The race for a share of the enormous reservoirs of fossil fuel – an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil alone – beneath Greenland’s ice sheet in the Arctic Circle is heating up. While the good news is that climate change, which is making the polar ice cap melt, may not be altogether bad because of the economic prospects it holds out, the bad news is that India appears to be nowhere in this emerging global game.

Asian Giants Poised to Outshine USA and Europe

By Jaya Ramachandran
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

PARIS (IDN) – The economies of China and India are poised to outshine those of the United States and Western Europe over the next half century, though an overwhelming majority of the Chinese and Indians are unlikely to attain the living standards of citizens in the rich industrial countries, predicts a new study.

Titled Looking to 2060: A Global Vision of Long-term Growth, the report expects the United States to cede its place as the world’s largest economy to China, as early as 2016. India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is also projected to exceed that of the U.S. over the long term.

UN Stresses Role of Science for Peace and Development

By J C Suresh
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN) – A greater global focus on scientific development would help find the answers to seemingly “insurmountable” challenges the world is confronted with, according to the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“Science is our best asset for supporting inclusive and equitable development, and for building global sustainability at a time of uncertainty, and faced with biophysical limits of the planet,” said UNESCO‘s Director-General Irina Bokova marking the World Science Day for Peace and Development.

Czechs Move Cautiously Towards More Nuclear

By Eva Weiler
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

PRAGUE (IDN) – The Czech Republic plans to lessen its dependence on coal and increase in the next 20 to 30 years the share of nuclear power to supply half of its energy needs under a new long-term energy policy unveiled by Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The policy document, drafted by the Industry and Trade Ministry and approved by the cabinet on November 8, also sets the way for the Czech Republic to achieve a 13 percent share of renewable sources in total energy consumption by 2020, as is required by the European Union, according to the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

Uncertainty Hangs Over Post-Meles Ethiopia

By Jerome Mwanda
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

NAIROBI (IDN) – Some three months after the death of Ethiopia’s strogman Meles Zenawi, uncertainty prevails over the country’s political stability and economic development under his successor Hailemariam Dessalegn, says a new study by the British Institute of Development Studes (IDS).

In particular, Ethiopia’s economic challenges are dominated by the need to find secure livelihoods for what is now the second largest population in Africa and by the acute vulnerability of its major economic sector – rainfed agriculture which is dominated by small plots that are leased by the government.

Behind the Pakistan-India Nuclear Arms Race

By Felix Imonti of Oilprice.com*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TOKYO (IDN) – The possibility of a nuclear war between Pakistan and India grows every day. If the Pakistanis do not bring under control the terrorist groups in the country and resolve the conflicts with India, it is not a matter of if it will happen, but when.

There have been few achievements to celebrate in the sixty-five year history of Pakistan and that has made the success of the nuclear program central to the national identity. This is especially true for the military that receives a quarter of the budget and is the only strong national institution.

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