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Archive for the ‘What’s Going on in the Rest of the World’ Category

From the Armenian news agency, Panorama:

The Azerbaijani parliament will adopt the military doctrine of the country in upcoming fall where Armenia will be mentioned as “Azerbaijan’s chief enemy,” Deputy of Azerbaijani Mili Mejlis Zahid Oruj informed in an interview to Day.az. Qualified as “a constitution in military,” the document shall include issues like safety threats, certain factors of various pressures, spots of conflicts, armament of neighbors and so on.

Taking USA as an example, the Azerbaijani parliamentarians are also going to list the countries threatening their country. “For example, U.S. strategic security paper mentions names of countries which fund terrorism and directly support international crime. In my opinion, Azerbaijan must apply that practice,” Zahid Oruj said. “Armenia will be mentioned as enemy state in the document,” he announced.

See my earlier post on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict for more info.

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Today’s installment of What’s Going on in the Rest of the World comes from FT:

Graft Scandal Hits Kirchner Camp

Efforts by Argentina’s ruling party to launch an upbeat campaign to elect Cristina Fernández as president suffered an early setback on Tuesday as a leading opposition politician called for the resignation of a cabinet heavyweight accused of involvement in an alleged corruption scandal.

Pressure is on Ms Fernández’s husband, president Néstor Kirchner, to take action against Julio de Vido, planning minister, after officials linked to his ministry were implicated in an attempt to bring $800,000 (€586,000, £398,000) illegally into Argentina.

The dollar notes were found by airport customs officials in the suitcase of a Venezuelan businessman, ahead of a state visit by Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan president, last week.

Guido Antonini was entering the country on a government-chartered aircraft in the company of several Argentine officials under Mr de Vido’s charge.

The incident has cost the job of Claudio Uberti, the official responsible for commercial relations with Venezuela and Mr de Vido’s “right hand man”. Alejandro Rodríguez, political spokesperson for Robert Lavagna, the opposition candidate, on Tuesday said that Mr de Vido should follow.

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Today’s installment of What’s Going on in the Rest of the World: Angola comes from Agence France Press in the New York Times on Friday:

Holden Roberto Dies at 84; Fought to Free Angola from Portuguese Rule

Holden Roberto, one of the fathers of Angola’s independence and a staunch opponent of President José Eduardo dos Santos, died on Thursday at his home in Luanda. He was 84.

[…]

His contributions in helping free Angola from centuries of Portuguese rule were hailed by both Angola’s main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, Unita, and the governing party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or M.P.L.A.

[…]

Mr. Roberto formed the country’s first nationalist movement, called the Union of Angolan Peoples, which was linked to his own Bakongo ethnic group, and then transformed it into the National Liberation Front of Angola, known as the F.N.L.A., in the 1960s.

He began an incursion into Angola on March 15, 1961, and his forces overran farms, government outposts and trading centers. Recalling the incursion, Mr. Roberto later said: “This time the slaves did not cower. They massacred everything.”

A close friend of other African-independence stalwarts, like Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo, and Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president, Mr. Roberto also established a political alliance with the former Zairean strongman Mobutu Sese Seko by divorcing his wife to marry Mr. Mobutu’s sister-in-law. Zaire is now known as Congo.

In April 1975, Mr. Roberto and the leaders of two other political parties signed peace accords with Portugal that led to Angola’s independence the same year.

But fighting immediately erupted and the F.N.L.A., backed by the United States, France and Zaire, fought the M.P.L.A., supported by the Soviet Union. After Cuba sent forces to support the M.P.L.A. in 1976, the F.N.L.A. was decisively defeated and abandoned its armed struggle.

The fighting did not cease, and Angola was devastated by a 27-year civil war between M.P.L.A. and Unita factions, in which about 500,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Mr. Roberto went into exile, notably in France and Zaire, but when he returned to Angola 15 years later, he remained involved in politics despite his failing health.

After participating in the 1992 general elections won by the M.P.L.A., he remained in the opposition, criticizing the two-party system in Angola dominated by the M.P.L.A. and Unita.

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From Reuters on July 31, 2007: Algeria jails 28 over building collapses in quake

An Algerian court handed prison sentences on Tuesday to 28 businessmen and engineers blamed for the collapse of hundreds of buildings during an earthquake
in 2003 that left thousands dead.

Twenty-seven defendants were jailed for two years and fined 50,000 dinars ($714) each, while the last received three years in jail and a fine in absentia from the court in Boumerdes province east of Algiers, a judicial source said.

Measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, the 2003 quake killed 2,300 people, injured more than 10,000 and made about 100,000 homeless. It was the deadliest in the oil-exporting country since 1980, when violent tremors killed 3,000 people.

Panic caused by the tremor quickly turned to anger as Algerians accused the government of turning a blind eye to the shoddy work of unscrupulous builders.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ordered an investigation, which later found serious faults in the construction of thousands of houses, apartment blocks and high-rise buildings that collapsed in the quake-prone province.

The 28 were convicted on charges including “manslaughter, fraud on the quality and quantity of construction materials and the non-respect of building standards”.

They can appeal within a week against the convictions issued by judge Redouane Benabdallah, who also acquitted 10 other people.

I wonder what the consequences will be for whoever screwed up in Minneapolis yesterday? Knowing the Administration’s track record for rewarding or ignoring failure, there probably won’t be any.

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I had a hard time accessing a reliable Albania based news agency, so tonight’s installation of What’s Going on in the Rest of the World comes from Reuters:

Albania tells Azerbaijan it will stop arms sales

Albania assured Azerbaijan on Wednesday it will take every measure to stop the sale of weapons to countries in a state of conflict, after Turkey sent back a shipment of Albanian weapons bound for Armenia.

“The Albanian government will use its authority with the utmost seriousness to take all necessary measures to prevent the sales of weaponry to countries in a state of conflict,” Albanian Foreign Minister Lulezim Basha said.

Basha made the pledge in a telephone conversation with his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov, a foreign ministry statement said.

Last week Turkey stopped and sent back to Albania’s Durres port 60 containers with weapons destined for Armenia, which denied it had bought weapons from Albania.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a state of conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region located within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognised borders.

It broke away from Azeri control during a war in the 1990s and has proclaimed independence, though this has not been accepted internationally.

The head of Albania’s state-owned weapons firm said he had sent the shipment because there was no embargo on arms sales to Armenia, press reports said.

Albania has been selling off its stock of Soviet-era weapons that were either imported from China or produced domestically, including an aging fleet of Mig airplanes.

Azerbaijan told Albania it considered the sale an act against Azerbaijan and asked the Islamic Conference Organisation to intervene on its behalf with fellow member Albania.

So we have Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey involved here (kind of confusing, too many As). I didn’t know much about this dynamic, but learned the following from Wikipedia (I know, I know):

Turkey supports the OSCE Minsk Group as a mechanism for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and views it from the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Following a UN Security Council resolution on April 6, 1993, calling for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian forces from the Azerbaijani district of Kelbajar, Turkey joined Azerbaijan in imposing the full economic embargo on Armenia

Still trying to figure out Albania’s interest in arming Armenia. Besides pure profit, I’m ignorant at this point to the strategic motivations. Something to look into for later.

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I thought I’d start a regular series where I show the top news story from a local news agency from around the world. So, starting at the top of alphabet, tonight’s news story comes from Afghanistan.

The top headline from Pajhwok Afghan News is: A Dozen Killed in Fresh Violence. However that story was only available to subscribers, (I guess Afghanistan is falling behind its democratization benchmarks for freedom of the press, but no one really cares about Afghanistan anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter), and I wouldn’t really call that breaking news in Afghanistan anyway.

The top headline available to non-subscribers is: Second South Korean Hostage Shot Dead. Pajhwok Afghan News reports:

A second South Korean hostage was gunned down Monday evening after a final deadline expired some hours ago, a Taliban spokesman said.

A district chief in the rebel-infested province confirmed receiving reports about a dead body dumped in Andar. Abdul Rahim Desiwal told Pajhwok Afghan News they were looking for the body in Chardewal area.

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, speaking on behalf of the abductors, said they shot dead one of the male captives in the wake of the governments refusal to explicitly respond to rebel demands.

In a phone call to this news agency from an undisclosed location, Ahmadi ruled out unconditional release of the 15 female foreigners in their captivity. He accused government-appointed negotiators of using delaying tactics and trying to dupe the kidnappers.

I guess stories like this aren’t all that breaking either. Oh well, hopefully something more interesting from Albania tomorrow, in the next segment of What’s Going on in the Rest of the World.

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