Snail’s Pace Towards Ban on Nuke Testing

By Jamshed Baruah
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalyis

VIENNA (IDN) – Since the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called for a “standstill agreement” on nuclear testing on April 2, 1954, 183 out of 196 states around the world have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) that bans atomic explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.

157 countries including three of the nuclear weapon States – France, Russia and Britain – have ratified the treaty. But before the CTBT can enter into force, 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify it. Of these, eight are still missing: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA. In fact, India, North Korea and Pakistan have yet to sign the treaty.

Human Trafficking Devastating the Sinai

By Mirjam van Reisen*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BRUSSELS (IDN) – A new report titled ‘Human Trafficking in the Sinai. Refugees between Life and Death’ sheds new light on the devastation caused by the trafficking in the Sinai. Hostages are killed unless they collect exorbitant ransoms from relatives, which can go up to USD 35,000 or even more. These ransoms are collected from family members in home countries and from relatives in the diaspora.

A network of financial laundering supports the ransom collection. The report is authored by this writer, Meron Estefanos and Dr Conny Rijken, from Tilburg University and European External Policy Advisors (EEPA).

India-Sri Lanka Ties Hostage to Tamil parties

By Shastri Ramachandaran*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India’s neighbours are not necessarily its friends. They can hardly be called India’s allies. In regional and international forums, more often than not, they are ranged against one another. History, geography, religion, geopolitics, uneven development, competing ambitions and much else account for this state of affairs.

As a result, bilateral relations have their ups and downs and can be warm or chilly, euphoric or troubling. Even so, over the decades, the South Asian countries have learned to live and let live, regardless of the problems at home and across their respective borders.

‘Do More to Solve Pressing Crises’

By Jaya Ramachandran
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – As a result of widespread insecurity, the squandering of vast funds on deadly weapons instead of economic development, and the growing impact of climate change, the world today is in a race against time to save itself.

Sounding this alarm at the opening of the 67th UN General Assembly’s annual general debate on September 25 in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “This is a time of turmoil, transition and transformation – a time when time itself is not on our side.” Several heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the debate, which ends on October 1.

The Bahamian Art of Survival

By Roberto Savio*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

NASSAU, Bahamas (IDN) – Mark Twain famously said: “The rich are different from you and me.” While the present behaviour of the financial elites is clearly proving Twain’s prescience, I think that had he spent some time in the Bahamas, he would have postulated: “Bahamians are different from you and me”.

Of course, this applies to every culture. In many parts of the United States, you cannot smoke in parks or on beaches, but you can carry a concealed semi-automatic weapon.

US Election: Ann Romney Berates Husband’s Republican Critics

By Ernest Corea*
IDN –InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON (IDN) – “Stop it.” That was Ann Romney’s peremptory order to her husband’s Republican Party critics, when she was recently interviewed by Radio Iowa. The wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney came across like a highly strung nanny ticking off a rumbustious bunch of rich kids at a summer picnic.

In fairness to Mrs. Romney, however, her lack of experience has obviously moved her towards breaking point as she surveys the fallout from the bombshell that current affairs magazine Mother Jones dropped on the Romney campaign.

Pakistan Urged to Probe Abuse of Blasphemy Law

By Jaya Ramachandran
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

GENEVA (IDN) – The World Council of Churches (WCC) is urging the Pakistani government to “take realistic and solid steps to stop abuse of the blasphemy law that are causing massive human rights violations”.

The call to action emerged from three-day public international hearing on the Misuse of blasphemy law and religious minorities in Pakistan, organized by the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) from September 17 to 19 in Geneva.

Past Still Haunting China-Japan Relations

By Richard Johnson
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

LONDON (IDN) – The 81st anniversary of the so-called “Mukden Incident” that marked the 14-year long Japanese occupation of China (1931-1945), was accompanied by anti-Japanese protests on September 18, which reportedly took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. These followed demonstrations on a similar scale over the weekend of September 15-16.

Zambia: Mixed Reactions to Chinese Investments

By Charles Mafa*
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

LUSAKA (IDN) – China’s voracious appetite for natural resources has driven a boom of investments and aid to African countries. In the Southern African country of Zambia, Chinese companies are building roads, hospitals, sports stadia as well as reviving copper mines abandoned in the country’s Copperbelt region.

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