Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Manmohan Singh says nuke deal on ice

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told U.S. President George W. Bush that he may have to renege on a nuclear deal between the two countries.

Allied parties on the left of the political spectrum have opposed the deal saying it compromised India's own scientific research and independent foreign policy.

The prime minister "explained to President Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalization of the India-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreement," said an official statement released last night.

U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, the latter a unit of Toshiba of Japan, were to help India establish 40,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020.

The deal was set to be the first nuclear cooperation between the two countries since India tested nuclear weapons decades ago. For its part the U.S. would recognize that India operates its nuclear program outside of the constraints of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

George W. Bush shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two are having trouble closing a nuclear power deal. AFP/File/Raveendran photo.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hu Jintao opens party congress

China's leader Hu Jintao addressed the party congress Monday in what is widely seen as a test of his authority.

Hu all but rules out substantial reforms as party congress opens
International Herald Tribune
By Joseph Kahn President
Hu Jintao of China promised Monday to address social fissures, a degraded environment and rampant corruption during his second term as China's top leader. He also promised to make the party more inclusive and to better distribute the benefits of China's economic boom. However he all but ruled out key political reforms.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

China cracks down after Dalai Lama protest

China appears to be cracking down on Tibetan activists after a pro-Dalai Lama protest led by nomad Runggye Adak in August.

A political prisoner was recently executed and increased detentions have been reported. Beijing also described the Dalai Lama as a supporter of "evil cults" like Falun Gong and Japan's Aum Shinrikyo.

Runggye Adak staged a protest in support of the Dalai Lama at the Lithang horse festival before thousands of people. He was originally at the Lithang police detention center, but reportedly he has been moved closer to the provincial capital of Chengdu. Immediately after his detention, local Tibetans and nomads in the area for the summer horse festival, where he made his protested his detention before being dispersed by authorities. Several days afterwards, Tibetans gathered outside the town were dispersed by riot police using tear-gas and firing guns into the air.

Last month, China blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for meeting the Dalai Lama and demanded Berlin make amends to restore bilateral ties. Beijing has opposed any official recognition of the Dalai Lama by foreign countries.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Musharraf sweeps Pakistan presidential election

Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf easily won the country's presidential elections Saturday after a near entire boycott by the opposition.

Musharraf's opponents have objected to the process and the Supreme Court is reviewing the case before permitting release of official results.

Of a total of 1,170 lawmakers eligible to vote, 671 cast their ballots for Musharraf.

Abandoning his trademark military uniform, Musharraf dismissed the idea that the boycott undermined the validity of the election. "Democracy means majority, whether there is opposition or no opposition," he said.

Pakistan ruler General Pervez Musharraf arrives at the President's house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Oct 6, 2007. Unofficial results showed Musharraf winning Saturday's presidential election, but the Supreme Court could still disqualify the military leader. AP Photo/B.K.Bangash via Yahoo News.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gen. Than Shwe may meet with Suu Kyi

Myanmar's military leader may meet with dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week according to reports released on Thursday. The country made headlines recently over its crackdown on protests led largely by Buddhist monks.

eFluxMedia (press release)

Myanmar Junta Leader May Meet With Suu Kyi
Wall Street Journal - 2 hours ago
AP YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar military leader Gen. Than Shwe told a United Nations envoy this week that he will meet with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but with preconditions, state media reported Thursday.