January 31, 2011
by Neville Bezzina (AEGEE-Valletta)
Note: For this second Newsflash issue, we’re grouping the most important links according to the specific geographical region to which the news relates. Comments with feedback (both about content and format) are welcome.
Lebanon: Violent protests continued in certain regions of Lebanon over the recent nomination of Najib Miqati, a Hezballah-backed candidate, for Prime Minister. (New York Times) In reaction, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton released this statement urging Lebanon to continue to respect its international obligations.
Israel: Al Jazeera and The Guardian newspaper are publishing hundreds of secret documents (The Guardian) about Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations over the last decade. U.S. officials said this release of sensitive documents will make the process “more difficult.” (BBC) The documents represent more than 1,600 records of communications between Palestinian, Israeli, and U.S. leaders from 2000-2010.
Iran: Iran’s nuclear ambitions were again thrown into sharp consideration with a revealing cable released by Wikileaks (Foreign Policy). The general secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, talks to SPIEGEL about the topic. On the Council of Foreign Relations website, Ray Takeyh explores how “Mr Ahmadi-Nejad is launching his own cultural revolution; a hardline era.”
EU Commission: The controversy surrounding the proposed Hungarian Media Law, which many argue will breach fundamental rules on freedom of press continues as the EU Commission’s initial assessment indicates that the legislation fails to uphold EU standards. (Presseurop, NY Times)
In a shocking turn of events, computer hackers attacked and stole millions of carbon credits from the European trading system ( EU Observer)
German and French Foreign Ministers, William Hague and Guido Westerwelle, have declared their intentions to take action against oppression in Belarus (Wall Street Journal)
U.S.A: In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama outlined his administrations intention to focus on critical areas like education and clean-energy technology to meet the challenge of globalisation. (Washington Post)
Egypt: Following Friday prayers, a new wave of protests rupted across Egypt. The demonstrations have continued five consecutive days, as activists pressed for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled for nearly thirty years. (Haaretz) The BBC has reported v violent clashes with riot police. (BBC)
The government has responded with a complete Internet blockade, the first of its kind. (BBC)
You can follow developments in Egypt on Al Jazeera.
Tunisia: Following the overthrow of President Ben Ali, Mohammed Ghannouchi is managing the transition government (BBC) and has purged the cabinet of ministers from the previous administratio. New elections for the North-African country are planned for the coming months (Al-Jazeera)
· Sarkozy and Obama discuss the French Presidency of G20 and G8 (Neurope)
· Swiss banker hands over classified bank information to Wikileaks (DW World)
· The Russian president, on a rare visit to the West Bank has confirmed his country’s support of the Palestinian state (BBC)
· UK hosts rare northern Europe summit (Politics)
Author : ipwg