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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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:
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.
By Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
PORTO (IDN | Transcend Media Service) - In regards to the way things are and how they could/should/ought to be, we are cutting ourselves short by concentrating almost exclusively on our intellect, knowledge and intelligence.
I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine. Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many ways as complex, dynamic, fascinating as the universe itself. And scientists keep sending those 'intelligent' messages to outer space in hopes that other 'intelligent' beings will pick them up and beam back their replies to them thus completing the human life-changing experience of a close encounter of whatever kind. They assume that beings ‘out there’ possess minds and intellects like our own.
By: Patrick Johnson* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN | Geopoliticalmonitor.com) - South Sudan may have taken most of Sudan’s known energy reserves with it when it voted for independence in 2011, but that doesn’t mean Khartoum has given up on keeping Sudan in the mix of Africa’s key energy players. Eyeing a bounce back, Sudan has been courting energy companies worldwide with the promise of untapped resources in Sudan. And given the relatively raw nature of these unexplored blocks, the strategy could conceivably bear fruit over the medium term.
By Sharon Dolev* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
BINYAMINA-GIV'AT ADA (IDN) - Around the world, when it comes to nuclear weapons, it is a well know “secret” that Israel is a Nuclear Armed State. Just like India and Pakistan, Israel has developed a nuclear arsenal, but unlike the two, Israel’s arsenal remains a secret. Israel doesn’t talk about its arsenal and usually, doesn’t take part in any international or regional discourse about it.
By Nimal Fernando* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
MINNESOTA (IDN) - Rebranding is a daunting prospect in any commercial setting. When the process involves not a product or service, but a political party, daunting does not even begin to make a dent in expressing the exacting task at hand.
Republican Party faithfuls must be painfully aware of this as they take stock and move towards cementing a strategy to rebrand and revitalise the Grand Old Party (GOP) of the United States.
A cartoonist might depict the status quo in the form of a smallish tent sheltering two separate groups, one larger than the other. The smaller group will also be identified as a kind of party within the party, going by the name of Tea Party, but offering neither tea nor sympathy to any but its own.