- 11:58 | In the world Top choice blocked for U.N. digital privacy investigator post
The Estonian picked as the U.N.'s first digital privacy investigator was blocked on Friday by the German president of the Human Rights Council after activist groups said she would not be a strong enough critic of U.S. surveillance.
- 11:32 | In the world China firm 'plans to punish unapproved staff pregnancies'
A Chinese firm reportedly plans to ask its staff to seek approval before they get pregnant, provoking scorn in the state-run press and on social media.
- 11:15 | In the world Not enough shut-eye makes you more impulsive and can fuel addiction
Previous research has shown individuals working in today's 24-hour-a-day global economy often times sleep less or at irregular times, resulting in poor sleep and prolonged sleep deprivation, which affects decision-making.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 11:00 | In the world Pope Francis can expect warm welcome and tough questions in South America
Pope Francis is expected to be confronted by a host of thorny issues when he touches down in Quito, Ecuador on Sunday to begin a seven-day tour of South America, including a contentious case involving a 10-year-old rape victim in Paraguay who has been refused access to an abortion.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:36 | In the world Greece deeply divided as vote on Europe looms
After years of living on borrowed money and paying the price with savage austerity, Greeks will vote Sunday for more of the same (more or less) or for a rupture with Europe that could spell disaster.
- 10:19 | In the world Cancer patient becomes Colombia's first legal euthanasia case
A 79-year old Colombian man has become the first person in the country to die legally by euthanasia.
- 20:00 | In the world How being obese could help you fight cancer
The results shocked researchers, who had predicted obese patients would not react as well to treatments for stage 4 colorectal cancer because of their increased risk of developing the disease and it returning.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 19:37 | In the world Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government
An investigation by the German parliament is publicly raising questions as to whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country but interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.
- 19:21 | In the world Iran nuclear talks in endgame, negotiators push on sticking points
A year and half of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers were creeping towards the finish line on Friday as negotiators wrestled with sticking points including questions about Tehran's past atomic research.
- 18:55 | In the world Greece debt crisis: Tsipras urges 'No' to 'blackmail'
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has called on voters to reject "blackmail" when they vote in a bailout referendum on Sunday.
- 16:14 | In the world New study warns of dangerous climate change risks to the Earth’s oceans
The study concludes that global warming beyond the international limit of 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures would pose serious threats to marine ecosystems and their millions of human dependents.
Source: The Guardian
- 15:46 | In the world ISIS 'emir of suicide bombers' killed in coalition airstrike, U.S. says
Al-Harzi played a key logistical role for ISIS, overseeing efforts to get jihadists and weapons into Iraq and Syria to fuel the militant organization's war machine, according to U.S. authorities.
- 15:19 | In the world France refuses asylum request by Wikileaks founder Assange
Assange has been living for the past three years in Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.
- 15:00 | In the world Syria military resists major rebel assault in Aleppo
The Syrian military has carried out a series of air strikes after rebel forces launched a major assault to take control of the northern city of Aleppo.
- 14:30 | Region Turkey reinforces Syria border, Davutoglu says no incursion planned
Turkey has deployed additional troops and equipment along part of its border with Syria as fighting north of the city of Aleppo intensifies, security sources said, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were no immediate plans for any incursion.
- 12:56 | In the world Russia’s Tartous base will continue its missions, Russian Navy source stresses
The Russian Naval General Staff said Thursday that the Material-Technical Support Point for the Russian Navy in Tartous city will continue to carry out the tasks in the fulfillment of its missions regardless of the developments in Syria.
- 12:19 | In the world French woman jailed for nine years for killing eight of her newborn babies
A French court has jailed a woman for nine years for killing eight of her newborn babies, after a harrowing trial in which she lied about having had an incestuous relationship with her father.
Source: The Guardian
- 12:00 | In the world Germany says new reports of U.S. spying harm security ties
Germany is taking seriously the latest reports about U.S. spying on senior government ministers and they are putting strains on vital security cooperation between the two countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Thursday.
- 11:45 | In the world Islamic State militants 'destroy Palmyra statues'
The Islamic State group has published photographs of militants destroying what it says are artefacts looted from the ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria.
- 11:34 | In the world ISIS threatens residents of Turkish border villages with Syria, Turkish daily
Locals of Turkish border villages with Syria warned that they are in danger in light of spreading Islamic State in Iraq and Syria “ISIS” terrorist organization in the border villages with Syria as ISIS is using those villages to cross into Syria.
- 11:21 | In the world Iranian actor apologises after tweeting support for US gay marriage ruling
A leading Iranian actor has apologised after coming under pressure over a tweet he posted in support of a historic US supreme court ruling on gay marriage.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:58 | In the world Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo
The fall of Syria's main commercial hub would be a major blow for President Bashar al-Assad, restricting his control mainly to a belt of territory stretching north from Damascus to the Mediterranean coast.
- 10:25 | In the world 6 U.N. peacekeepers killed in Mali
Six U.N. peacekeepers were killed and five others were injured Thursday in an attack on their convoy in the West African nation of Mali, the United Nations said.
- 10:17 | In the world Greek debt crisis: IMF says extra 50bn euros needed
Greece will need an extra 50bn euros ($55bn) over the next three years to stabilise its finances under the existing, disputed bailout plans, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.
- 18:00 | In the world Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's divorce 'fuelled by the actor's growing closeness to his ex Jennifer Lopez'
Fans were saddened when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner confirmed they were filing for divorce after ten years of marriage this week.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 16:38 | In the world Hillary Clinton lobbied by Cherie Blair to meet Qatari royal, emails reveal
Cherie Blair repeatedly pressured Hillary Clinton to meet a leading Qatari royal when Clinton was US secretary of state, according to newly released emails that raise fresh questions about the lobbying activities of all three political families.
Source: The Guardian
- 16:15 | In the world Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher Expecting Twins
A new report claims that not only is Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher pregnant, but they’re having twins.
Source: Hollywood Life
- 15:47 | In the world United States seeks extradition of 7 FIFA officials from Switzerland
U.S. officials have requested the extradition of seven high-ranking FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland in May. They are suspected of taking bribes worth over $100 million in connection with soccer tournaments.
- 15:30 | In the world Plight of Greek pensioners heaps pressure on Tsipras
Long lines of pensioners jostling to get into a limited number of banks opened specially to pay out retirement benefits have become a powerful symbol of the misery facing Greece and the problems mounting for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
- 15:12 | In the world BBC to cut more than 1,000 jobs
An unexpected increase in the number of households saying they do not watch live TV so do not pay for a licence has been blamed for the shortfall.
- 14:58 | In the world Ferry capsizes in the Philippines, at least 36 dead
A boat carrying 189 people has capsized in the central Philippines, minutes after leaving port, the Philippine National Red Cross said Thursday.
- 11:00 | In the world Rihanna becomes recording industry's top digital singles artist
Grammy-winning R&B singer Rihanna is the first artist to surpass more than 100 million cumulative digital singles, the Recording Industry Association of America said on Wednesday.
- 10:29 | In the world 'Whistleblowers' challenge Australia's law on reporting refugee conditions
More than 40 doctors, nurses, teachers and other humanitarian workers have signed an open letter to the Australian government, challenging a new bill that could put whistleblowers in jail for disclosing the conditions of Australian detention centers.
- 10:15 | In the world Greece crisis: Eurozone rules out talks until after referendum
Eurozone finance ministers have ruled out any further talks on a fresh bailout for Greece until the country holds its referendum on Sunday.
- 18:42 | In the world Mozambique LGBT activists move on to next battle after anti-gay law scrapped
Gay rights activists have welcomed the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Mozambique but said they still face a long struggle for full equality.
Source: The Guardian
- 18:15 | In the world To many ordinary Iranians, nuclear deal means money, food and jobs
Years of tightening international sanctions, designed to counter Iranian evasion and secrecy and guarantee that Iran's nuclear program can have no military dimension, have closed hundreds of factories and halved living standards.
- 17:58 | In the world Czechs detain Russian speaker suspected of attack on defense minister's house
Czech police have detained a Russian-speaking man and charged him with a petrol bomb attack on the house of the country's defense minister last month, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Source: The Daily Star
- 17:30 | In the world Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 30
Islamic militants on Wednesday unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including a suicide car bombing, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive north of the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 30 soldiers.
- 17:09 | In the world Video shows Syria rebel group executing 18 ISIS fighters
The video, which emerged overnight, shows fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) wearing the orange prison clothes that ISIS victims often sport.
Source: The Daily Star
- 16:54 | In the world How two glasses of cranberry juice a day could cut your risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes
Researchers took measurements of health indicators from the participants, including blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipids.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 16:25 | In the world De Mistura will submit report on outcomes of his mission next Monday
UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said Tuesday UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will submit next Monday to the UN a report on the outcomes of his mission and his recommendations for the steps to be taken.
- 16:12 | In the world US and Cuba to announce agreement to re-open embassies
Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that the US and Cuba have reached an agreement to open embassies in Havana and Washington, a senior administration official said.
Source: The Guardian
- 16:00 | In the world Greece is on the brink of collapse
Greece officially missed its $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund at 6pm ET on Tuesday.
- 15:43 | In the world Toyota's top female executive steps down after arrest in Japan
Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday that Julie Hamp, its first female managing officer, had resigned following her arrest last month on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller oxycodone into Japan.
- 15:30 | Region Iran nuclear talks: Deadline extended to 7 July
Iran and six world powers have extended into next week their talks on finding a comprehensive agreement of Tehran's nuclear programme.
- 14:21 | In the world Rights group says airstrikes in Yemen killed many civilians
Airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on Saada City in northern Yemen which is controlled by Shiite rebels killed dozens of civilians in an apparent violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday.
- 14:00 | In the world State Department to release new batch of Clinton emails
The U.S. State Department said it would release 3,000 pages of emails from the account of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday).
- 13:34 | In the world Marine Le Pen to stand in French regional elections
The far-right French politician Marine Le Pen has announced she will stand in regional elections in December, a move that will test her popularity before the 2017 presidential vote.
Source: The Guardian
- 13:15 | In the world Pope Francis to visit 9/11 memorial during U.S. trip
Pope Francis will lead an ecumenical meeting for peace at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York during his first trip to the United States in September, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- 12:49 | In the world Ebola crisis: Liberia quarantine after death
Liberia's authorities have quarantined the area where a 17-year-old boy died of Ebola.
- 12:30 | In the world Over 100 feared dead after Indonesia military plane crashes
More than 100 people were feared dead after a military transport plane plowed into a residential area shortly after take-off in northern Indonesia on Tuesday, in what may be the deadliest accident yet for an air force with a long history of crashes.
- 12:07 | In the world Iran nuclear talks extended; Iranians meet key obligation
Pushing past a Tuesday deadline, world powers and Iran extended negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement by a week as the U.N. nuclear agency prepared to announce Tehran had met a key condition - significantly reducing its stocks of enriched uranium that could be used for atomic weapons.
- 11:45 | In the world ISIS lays mines on Syrian-Turkish borders
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria “ISIS” terrorists laid mines on the border line between Syria and Turkey near Karkamis city in the province of Gaziantep, Turkish Milliyet newspaper said Monday.
- 11:28 | In the world How to avoid tummy bugs and other nasties during the heatwave
Every year, one million people suffer from a bad bout of food poisoning, according to the Food Standards Agency, and numbers rise in the warmer months as millions of us enjoy alfresco dining.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 11:00 | In the world Russia's Rosneft charged over pipeline leak that caused oil to come out of taps
Russia’s environmental watchdog has opened a case against state-owned oil corporation Rosneft after a pipeline leak resulted in oily water filling backyards and flowing out of locals’ taps in Siberia.
Source: The Guardian
09:18 18/10/2013 » Analysis
Karzai’s last-minute game with the Americans
Iranian Diplomacy’s interview with Pirmohammad Mollazehi, an expert on Afghan affairs
- The security agreement between Afghanistan and the US is still in a coma state. Why is there a delay in signing this part of the strategic pact?
- A part of the strategic pact which was adopted between the US and Afghanistan was the issue of the security agreement. At that time, due to the serious protests of the Afghan intellectuals and among the people and even the countries of the region, there were discussions about not signing this agreement. Therefore, Afghanistan and the US decided to postpone it to a later time when the conditions were more suitable and then the security agreement which is part of this strategic pact could be signed. Right now the issue is that Hamed Karzai has set certain conditions for this agreement and on the other hand, the Americans attempt to sign this agreement before the presidential elections and prefer to impose this agreement on Karzai whose position is weaker now.
- What is the main objective of the US with this agreement? What have the major obstacles been until now?
- The main objective of the US is for the US and member countries of NATO to take out a major part of their forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and based on Obama’s plan. But the problem is that the Americans do not intend to completely leave this country and they have rather proposed to build 9 military bases in different regions of Afghanistan and maintain a part of their forces in these safe bases. This is the main issue with regard to these two countries and their relations. Also, Afghanistan seeks to be able to try any American soldier who might commit a crime in Afghanistan in Afghanistan’s tribunals, but the Americans believe that this would be impossible because it is against the constitution of this country. The US experience in different parts of the world shows that they have not accepted such a demand in any country that they have had military agreement with and they have somehow imposed to the host country that they do not recognize the competency of the local courts with regard to crimes committed by Americans. This is the main problem and public opinion in Afghanistan believes that this measure violates the national pride of Afghanistan legally which is based on capitulation which since long has been abolished.
- To what extent would the Americans have open hands with regard to political and military interference in Afghanistan?
- The experience of other countries wherein US military forces are stationed, such as Japan, South Korea and in the past the Philippines and the former Germany shows that the extent of the interference and influence of the Americans depends on the resistance of these countries against the demands of the Americans. With regard to Afghanistan, it must be said that this country is not in a position to show its national power and the presence and influence of the Americans will be more than other countries. For example, a comparison with Japan shows that Japan is an economic power and is able to limit the influence of the Americans. But this cannot be expected of Afghanistan because this country is in a weak position and, with the establishment of US military bases, the US will have a certain power inside that country and can even violate the national integrity of Afghanistan without fearing the reaction of the government. This is a fact and completely depends on the extent of the establishment of national power in this country and whether it would be able to safeguard the interests of the people. But if the same weak position continues, the American will have the power to influence.
- Based on Karzai’s remarks, how possible is the signing of this agreement during his presidency, in your opinion?
- It seems that Karzai’s statements are not very serious. Karzai plays with public opinion and seeks another objective, otherwise he would sign the agreement. The fact that he has stated that the Loya jirga will meet in the next month and he does not intend to send this agreement to the parliament is because he is worried that they might not adopt this agreement. But since he has selected certain people in the Loya jirga who agree with the signing of this agreement, it seems that Karzai will sign this agreement before the presidential election and until March. But his intention behind such statements and pretending to show his opposition to the signing of this agreement or setting conditions for it is to impact public opinion for the election. He attempts to attract public opinion towards his team or those of whom he approves, but the agreement will be signed during this period and it can even be said that it might be signed within the next month.
- Another issue is peace with the Taliban, one of the conditions of which is the political and military absence of foreign forces in this country. If this agreement is signed, is it possible that this issue would be transformed into one of the major challenges between the government and the Taliban?
- Of course, there is this possibility because the Taliban knows that if the American and NATO forces gain bases in this country and remain there, their expectation to return to power and revive the Islamic rulership will be severely weakened. Furthermore, if the Americans reach an agreement with the Afghans, the policy of the Pakistanis might change and become hopeless about helping the Taliban to gain power. Therefore, from the Taliban’s point of view, the continuation of the Americans’ presence is very dangerous because they will create obstacles for them. But it can have other consequences as well. When the Taliban becomes hopeless about gaining power through the usage of forces, they might be encouraged to compromise with the government through which they could gain part of the power and since they have strong social bases among the Pashtun tribes, they can even participate in the democratic process and reach power. But under the present circumstances, my analysis is that until the signing of the agreement, the Taliban will exert maximum pressure both politically and militarily to prevent it but when it is signed they would be forced to review their policies.
- Have any of the candidates taken positions in this regard? How is the atmosphere of public opinion?
- The fact is that the candidates have so far attempted to bypass this issue so that it would not have negative effects on their votes.
The other issue is that the main groups which seek the signing of this agreement are, contrary to assumptions, the northern groups whose candidate is Abdullah Abdullah. They are concerned that if the Americans completely leave Afghanistan, the Taliban might gain power by force and make them return to Saidabad and it would be similar to the time prior to the entrance of the Americans when these groups cooperated with the US. Thus, this concern has caused them to be the main proponents of this agreement. This is while these groups are considered the closest group to Iran because they are Persian-speakers, Uzbeks and people who are culturally closer to Iran. But on the other hand, the Pashtuns and the Taliban are against this agreement because they believe that the government which now administers the country (despite the fact that Karzai’s ancestors are Pashtun) and the US’ interference have destroyed the historical power of the Pashtuns who have had it for the last 250-300 years. That is why they are strongly against the continuation of the presence of the Americans, but the military presence of the US is to the benefit of the Shiite Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek minorities.
- Russia is also among the countries which is very concerned about the continuation of US presence in Afghanistan. What is the reason behind the Russians’ opposition and do their views impact the decision-making process of the Afghans?
- The Russians’ concerns are similar to those of the Iranians. Russia, China, Iran and to some extent India are concerned about US military bases in Afghanistan and its long presence in the region. The Russians, in particular, are afraid that if the Americans are present in Afghanistan, they will gradually attempt to take Central Asia out of the hands of the Russians and the same big game which has existed since the 19th century would end to the benefit of the Americans. Therefore, the Russians are very concerned. Of course, they have another concern as well and that is that if the Americans are permanently present in Afghanistan and compromise with the Taliban, then the radical groups which live in Chechnya and Uzbekistan and the Uyghurs who are in China will find the power to maneuver and intensify their opposition and continue their war against Russia. It is possible that these groups might gain the support of the West and an international competition between China and Russia would form. The Russians are concerned about this issue as well and believe that the events that happen in Afghanistan, particularly the influence of the Taliban in the Badakhshan region, will engage China, Russia and the Central Asian countries. The Americans might compromise with those groups who are fighting against them like al-Qaeda and its subgroups like the Hizb ut-Tahrir in Uzbekistan or the Chechen Liberation Front or the East Turkestan Movement and use radical groups against Russia and China. Thus, they attempt to prevent this event and discourage Afghanistan from signing this agreement but it seems that their power to maneuver is very limited.
In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the editor by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
18:23 04/07/2015 » Society
Between June 28 and July 4, Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire about 300 times, according to latest data of Defense Army of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic . Frontline units of Azerbaijani troops fired over 6,000 shots at Armenian positions in the indicated period, the press service of NKR Defense Ministry said. The frontline units of NKR Defense Army responded duly to offensive actions of the Azerbaijani side and took necessary measures for efficient defense of frontline positions
18:17 04/07/2015 » Politics
Civic activist David Sanasaryan convened today a media briefing near the barricades on Bagramyan Avenue in central Yerevan where a group, which has split from other protesters, is holding a rally against a rise in electricity prices. “I have something to say near the barricades on Bagramyan Avenue,” the activist declared. “Today we are starting a decisive stage of this movement. We are entering an important stage,” D. Sanasaryan told reporters. He said they ...
18:06 04/07/2015 » Society
A class 12 student allegedly committed suicide on Friday in Jharkhand’s Dumka district after her parents turned down her repeated pleas to construct a toilet at home as they wanted to save money for the 17-year-old’s marriage, police said. Khushbu Kumari, a resident of Dudhani colony in the town, was found hanging from the ceiling of her room by family members, the police added, according to Hindustatimes.com. The tragedy underlined a growing awareness on hygiene ...