Monday, May 31, 2010

NORTH KOREA - On the Brink of War - GERMANY

While South Korea, China and Japan are struggling for a common position in the affair of the sunken South Korean warship, North Korea is far from acknowledging its supposed role in this affair. Instead, North Korean TV is launching stances of an immediate war between the two countries if only a single provocation whatsoever follows preceding accusations from Seoul. China is yet undecided how to react. In the frame of a long alliance with North Korea during Cold War times, Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao finds it hard to support the South Korean position together with all the consequences this might include. [BBC World News, Al-Jazeera TV, May 30, 2010]

Video: North Korean TV threatening South Korea and independant reports from BBC and Al-Jazeera.

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German Government under Pressure

June 2, 2010: Today's opinion poll shows that 51% of German citizens accept President Koehler's decision to resign from his office. Most German sources acknowledge Koehler's fundamental intention to become a president of the people.

Another problem to handle for German Chancellor Merkel after local elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen where the voters of Germany's federal state second in size voted for a 10% loss of the chancellor's party and a change of the local government.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kabul: Taliban attack biggest US base in Baghram

Latest UPDATE further down !

الناتو: مقتل 7 مسلحين وجرح 5 جنود من الحلف بهجوم استهدف قاعدة باغرم الجوية بأفغانستان

Today, the Taliban launched an attack on Baghram airfield, Kabul, the biggest US air force base in Afghanistan. Seven armed insurgents are reported to be killed while five NATO soldiers have been wounded.

Al-Jazeera (Arabic channel) reporting on 19 May 2010 (Baghram and Kandahar incidents; President Karzai, once again, deliberating on terrorism).

Same day:
Taliban declare six NATO soldiers died during attack in Kandahar.

طالبان تقول إن الهجوم في قندهار أسفر عن قتل 6 من جنود الناتو

Al-Jazeera has the news of secret talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban starting on May 20 and lasting for some days. Those talks are held in the Republic of the Maldives.

Further news from Al-Jazeera:

The Taliban assume responsibility for bringing down a plane with 36 NATO soldiers on board and who should have died in the crash (May 21).

Public demonstrations in Afghanistan denouncing
military operations of foreign troops

(Al-Jazeera / Arabic website / May 15, 2010)

مظاهرات بأفغانستان تندد بعمليات القوات الأجنبية

Excerpts from the Arabic text, translated by Ulysses / W.W.:

Al-Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan was told by a Taliban speaker
that four policemen died in a trap that had been originally designed to
hit Taliban forces who were then targeted by police cars. ............
He added that four women had been wounded by a rocket. ...............
Another 11 civilians died in an assault of foreign troops.

The war awaiting Kandahar
(Al-Jazeera / English website / May 22, 2010)

Original text cited:

For now, let’s face up to reality. Bad days are awaiting Afghanistan. True, it is hard to imagine how Afghanistan’s misfortunes could possibly get any worse. But they will, particularly for those living in Kandahar in the south. Seated next to Karazi during his Washington visit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised that her country will “not destroy Kandahar in order to save Kandahar."

The statement may sound assuring, but it is in fact ominous and very troubling. Clinton was referring to the Bush administration’s policy in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, she candidly admitted this by saying, “This is not Fallujah,” referring to the Iraqi city which was almost completely destroyed in 2004 by a massive U.S. Marine assault intended to ‘save’ the city. “Lessons have been learned since Iraq,” stated Clinton.

But if lessons were truly learned, then why the fictitious language, the silly assertion that the real intention is to in fact ‘save’ Kandahar? And what other strategy does the U.S. have in store for Afghanistan, aside from the irritating debate on whether to use unmanned drones or do the killing face to face?

UPDATE May 29, 2010:

U.S. death toll reaching 1.000 of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. [Al-Jazeera]

BBC video of January 18 attack on Kabul center
(January 18, 2010)

Arabic anti-war site citing international media on Afghanistan

Rich choice of videos on NATO and Taliban proceedings

Friday, May 07, 2010

UK ELECTIONS 2010 - Political Landslide

- Final results of the UK elections 2010 [German National TV, Channel 2] -
After 30 years of one-party rule over Britain, a coalition with the Liberal Democrats seems to be the only way for, either, Labour or Conservatives to form a stable government.

- Election day 2010, results at midnight [BBC] -

Heavy losses (-94 parliamentary seats) for governing Labour Party and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The Conservative Party enjoys a +95 of seats and is therefore expected to be 21 seats short of an overall majority. Changes accompanied by disturbances to the poll because of technical reasons (election centers running out of ballot papers or voters' lists being inacccurate).