Monday, May 10, 2010


Wednesday, April 01st 2009
All wait for G-20 meet
The Group of 20 nations are scheduled to meet at a summit in London which will take place on April 2nd 2009, this will be one of the most anticipated international events in the backdrop of the global financial crisis. The G 20 members constitute 19 countries and the nation which holds the rotating EU presidency as part of the group. The 19 countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States . Spain and the Netherlands will also be part of the meet. With the world reeling under one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s, everybody hopes that the summit will result in some coordinated plan which will help the nations to emerge from this downturn. Member states present at the summit represent almost 90% of the global economy.

Wednesday, April 01st 2009
Israel's new PM
Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as the new prime minister by Israel's parliament which showed its approval of his right-leaning coalition cabinet by 69 votes to 45. The new cabinet will be the largest in Israel's political history. Mr. Netanyahu did state in the media about negotiations with the Palestinians; however there was no reference made to a two-state solution to the conflict.

Thursday, April 02nd 2009
The G20 summit 2009
The much anticipated G20 Summit 2009 starts today at London. As world leaders gathered in London for the meet today there have been instances of rioting as protesters attacked the heavily guarded Royal Bank of Scotland in central London on the eve of the summit. Several demonstrators clashed with the riot police in the financial center of London. The summit which is being held amid tight security at the Excel Center in London's Docklands hopes to produce a concrete agreement among world leaders on how to confront the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s. The leaders are looking at ways to revive the world economy and the means to strengthen the world financial system so as to avoid a repeat of this crisis in the future. However there are differences in views between some of the key players such as France and Germany who have asked for stricter regulation of the financial system while UK and the US feel that extra government spending will do more to ease the crisis. In spite of the financial disputes, many believe that this summit is close to an agreement. An official communique would be released around 1530 hours today by UK prime minister Gordon Brown.

Thursday, April 02nd 2009
US proposes military aid for Pakistan
Pakistan will get a military aid package worth $2.8 billion from the US to fight extremism. The Obama administration has proposed this five year military aid package called 'the Pakistani Counter-insurgency Capability Fund' . This fund would be distributed to Pakistan over five years.

Friday, April 03rd 2009
G20 to pump in financial aid to battle crisis by end of 2010
The G20 summit in London ended with a decision to boost the world economy by means of a $1.1trillion worth financial package for all international bodies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will get a financing of $500 bn and an extra $250 bn for trade finance. Funds worth $100 million will be lent to the poorest countries by multilateral development banks. The world leaders also agreed to end the age of bank secrecy and have pledged to take measures that will ensure greater transparency in a bank's operations. The summit also agreed to fast track the proposed reforms for the IMF and World Bank. The booster dose, taken together with measures taken by individual governments, would total up to a fiscal stimulus package of $5 trillion by the end of 2010. An agreement was also reached to name countries which have been resorting to protectionism in the past, however no concrete action has been decided for such countries.

Saturday, April 04th 2009
Shooting at NY immigration center
Around 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a room where immigrants were taking a citizenship exam in downtown Binghamton, New York on Friday. After the shooting spree the gunman took his own life. According to Governor David Paterson's statement in the media the suspected gunman carried identification with the name of 42 year old Jiverly Voong.

Saturday, April 04th 2009
Pakistan gets $9.3 million from the US for relief work
On Friday the United States announced its decision to give financial aid of $9.3million to Pakistan. The aid is meant to help the people who have been displaced in the recent conflict in the tribal and border areas of the country due to increasing terrorist activities. The fund will support relief work managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC). Since August 2008 approximately 550,000 persons have been displaced due to counter-insurgency operations and extremist violence in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Monday, April 06th 2009
Suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan kills 22
A crowded Shiite mosque in Chakwal city in Punjab province south of Islamabad was attacked by suicide bombers, killing 22 people. A Pakistani Taliban group has accepted responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing. A senior commander of the Taliban group has also issued threats that it would carry out two attacks per week in the country if the US does not stop missile strikes on Pakistani territory. This is the latest evidence of Pakistan's crumbling security beyond the Afghan border region where al-Qaida and Taliban fighters thrive.

Monday, April 06th 2009
US for a nuke-free world
Just a few hours after North Korea defied all international warnings to launch a rocket over the Pacific on Sunday, US president Barack Obama initiated an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons . Mr. Obama stated in the media that, “the US would immediately and aggressively seek ratification of a comprehensive ban on testing nuclear weapons.” The US has called N Korea's rocket launch an illicit test. North Korean officials have called the rocket launch a success, the rocket carrying the “Kwangmyongsong-2” satellite is now in orbit. The lift off took place at 8am IST on Sunday from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in north eastern North Korea. Other nations have accused N Korea of using the launch as a pretext to test the delivery system for its long range missile technology.

Tuesday, April 07th 2009
Powerful Quake in Italy kills 150
A powerful earthquake which shook the mountainous region of central Italy has killed over 150 people and injured around 1500. The death toll is expected to rise. The magnitude of the quake measured 6.3 on the Richter and the epicenter was L'Aquilla, capital of the Abruzzo region. The earthquake is said to have been the deadliest in three decades. Several blocks of buildings collapsed under the impact of the earthquake and damage to ancient monuments has been reported as far as Rome.

Tuesday, April 07th 2009
Sri Lankan PM asks LTTE to surrender
The Sri Lankan government, which has managed to annihilate most of the LTTE's forces with the exception of only a few of its top leaders in hiding, has asked the LTTE rebels to surrender. The Sri Lankan army have killed around 480 LTTE cadres in the last four days alone in the Pudukudiyiruppu area. The rebel remnants, including their supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, second-in-command Pottu Amman and other senior commanders, are believed to be hiding in the 20 sq-km safety zone — a jungle strip along a beach in the north — after troops captured Pudukudiyirippu, the last LTTE bastion. According to media reports, the security forces are now preparing to rescue over 70,000 Tamil civilians who are believed to be trapped in the safety zone.

Wednesday, April 08th 2009
US to step up strikes in Pakistan
The US has stated that it is undeterred by threats of retaliation from terrorists and that it would continue drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas. Pakistani officials have expressed concern over these strikes. They feel that the missile strikes may fuel more violence in the country. Officials are now proposing a move to broaden the strikes to Baluchistan, south of the tribal areas.

Thursday, April 09th 2009
China signs deal with NWFP
In an attempt to track down Xinjiang rebels who are hiding in Pakistan, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has signed a deal with the NWFP. The deal will develop friendly relations across the border with the politically volatile North Western Frontier Province(NWFP) of Pakistan. The deal will help obtain support from local leaders of NWFP region who are independent of the Zardari regime. This effort will help cut off the links between separatists in Xinjiang and terrorists across the border in Pakistan.

Monday, April 13th 2009
Sri Lanka calls for two day ceasefire
The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced a two day ceasefire for the army's offensive operations against the LTTE to mark two days of Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. The Sri Lankan troops are all set to enter the last strip of land that the LTTE is holding on to

Monday, April 13th 2009
Unrest in Thailand
Mr. Abisit Vejjajiva Prime Minister of Thailand narrowly escaped an attack on him after riots erupted due to the anti government protesters. The government has declared a state of emergency in the city of Bangkok. Demonstrators from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship who are responsible for the unrest have demanded for fresh elections as they accuse Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s four-month-old government to have taken power illegitimately.

Tuesday, April 14th 2009
Sri Lanka strips Norway of peace role
Norway who previously held the role as peace broker in the three-decade old ethnic clash between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government was taken off the role by the Lankan government on Monday. This decision has come after suspected LTTE sympathizers ransacked the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Oslo. A senior official from the government was quoted in the media stating that “the government of Sri Lanka perceives that there is no room for Norway to act as facilitator.” Sri Lanka had invited Norway to act as peace facilitator in January 2000.

Thursday, April 16th 2009
Hijacked US ship's crew returns home
The nineteen crew members of the US merchant ship which was seized by Somali pirates for a brief while last week have finally returned home. The pirates had seized the captain of the Maersk Alabama on 8 th April. A US naval vessel had carried out rescue operations and managed to successfully free the captain and the crew. US President Barack Obama had specially presided over the entire emergency operations from Washington.

Friday, April 17th 2009
Sikhs pay Rs 20 million as tax to Taliban
Pakistan's minority Sikh community members living in the Aurakzai tribal region have paid Rs 20 million as tax to the Pak Taliban after their homes were captured by militants. The Militants also kidnapped a Sikh leader. The Taliban had demanded Rs 50 million as 'jizia', which is tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule. The militants who later settled for Rs 20 million released the Sikh leader on being paid the tax and also vacated the Sikh homes that were taken over.

Saturday, April 18th 2009
Nations pledge more than $5bn to Pakistan
At an aid conference co hosted by Japan and the World Bank more than 30 countries and international organizations met in Tokyo . They have pledged to give more than $5bn to stabilize Pakistan. The funds would help support Pakistan in its fight against extremism. The US and Japan have each pledged $1bn.

Saturday, April 18th 2009
Summit of the Americas
US president Barack Obama in an address to all leaders from Latin America and the Caribbeans at the Summit of the Americas did seek for a new beginning with Cuba. The summit is being held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. US has also asked for equal partnership with all the nations of the Americas.

Tuesday, April 21st 2009
Armed forces close in on Prabhakaran
The 24-hr deadline for the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to surrender set by the Lankan government has expired. The army is set to deal its final assault on the last LTTE bastion. Thousands of civilians are fleeing the conflict zone amid reports that the Sri Lankan army may now be moving in for a final assault against the rebels. An exodus of 35,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the north-eastern battleground ha been triggered by the rescue operations of the army on Monday.

Wednesday, April 22nd 2009
National elections in SA
South Africa is all set to go to the polls with its National and provincial elections, 2009. These elections are expected to be the most competitive since the end of apartheid in 1994. 23 million voters would exercise their vote across 20,000 polling stations. The ruling African National Congress is expected to win. The opposition party, the Congress of the people have challenged the two-thirds majority.

Thursday, April 23rd 2009
1lakh people flee, 2 top LTTE men surrender
Before Sri Lankan troops could advance into the last bastion of the LTTE, two of its functionaries close to the leadership surrendered before the armed forces. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) are now on the brink of being wiped out. The Tamil civilians escaping from the rebel held areas reached to about one lakh on Wednesday.

Friday, April 24th 2009
Fears increase for Sri Lankan Tamil captives
As thousands of Tamil civilians escape from the war zones in Sri Lanka, there are fears of many more being trapped in certain parts of Northern Sri Lanka. The UN is sending its humanitarian team to help provide aid and also help protect the civilians who are trapped in the war zones. Around 50,000 are said to be trapped. The UN has also asked the rebels and the government to allow pauses in the conflict so that aid can be sent and people evacuated. India has urged the Sri Lankan government for truce and begin negotiations with the already battered LTTE.

Saturday, April 25th 2009
H-1B and L1 visas to get tough
A legislation has been introduced in the US Senate on reforming the H-1B and L1 visa programmes. According to the bill which was introduced on Thursday requires all employers who wish to hire H-1B guest workers to first make a good faith attempt to recruit a qualified American worker. These Visas are specially popular among Indians. Professionals from Indian and China are likely to be affected the most if the legislation introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durban is passed by the Congress and signed into law by the president.

Sunday, April 26th 2009
Troops stopped from entering Swat valley
The Taliban stopped a convoy of security forces from entering the northwestern Swat valley on Saturday. This came as a reaction to the Pakistan Army chief's pledge to eliminate militants who would challenge the writ of the state. A convoy of seven army trucks was stopped by armed militants at Qambar, a small town near the main city of Swat valley.

Sunday, April 26th 2009
LTTE: More than 125 thousand Tamil civilians starve
According to the LTTE, nearly 165,000 civilians in the areas controlled by the Tamil tigers are close to starvation. The Tamil rebels have blamed the Sri Lankan authorities of blocking food and humanitarian supplies to the Wanni area. However the United nations has estimated the number of civilians in the conflict zone as 50,000.

Monday, April 27th 2009
Fresh operations launched by Pak against Taliban in NWFP
Pakistan launched fresh operations in the North Western Frontier Province(NWFP) of Pakistan against the emboldened Taliban. Several militants were killed in the offensive in Dir, Swat's neighboring district. A military convoy was ambushed in this region. The army launched its offensive following the request of the provincial government and the people.

Monday, April 27th 2009
Govt rejects LTTE's call for truce
The Sri Lankan army claims to be barely 6 km away from the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran's hiding place in Vellamullivaikkal. The army has captured the strategic area of Valayarmadam which surrounds the last hideout for the LTTE cadres and top leadership. The LTTE has now called for truce with the Sri Lankan government. The Sri Lankan government on the other hand has rejected this call and said it would continue its offensive till all members of the group are captured. Around 500 civilians were rescued from the war zone on Sunday.

Monday, April 27th 2009
Mexico Flu toll rises
Fears of a global epidemic has risen as a new strain of swine flu struck many people in and around Mexico city. According to Mexico’s health minister up to 81 people have been killed so far and the flu has likely sickened 1,324 since April 13. Hundreds of public events from concerts to sports matches have been called off to keep people from congregating and spreading the virus in crowds. Meanwhile 20 people are confirmed to have caught the virus in the USA where a public health emergency has been declared. There are also confirmed cases in Canada, and investigations are being carried out on suspected cases in Spain, Israel and New Zealand. The UN has said that the virus has the potential to become a pandemic, however also adding that the world was better prepared than ever to deal with the threat.

Tuesday, April 28th 2009
China-Pak border opens for tourism
For the first time the historical pass between China and Pakistan known as the Khunjerab Pass connecting the two countries will be opened for tourism. So far the pass has been used for joint security drills and a small amount of trade between the two countries. The first batch of Chinese tourists will leave for a trip of certain areas in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan where it is regarded to be peaceful and trouble free.

Tuesday, April 28th 2009
Sri Lanka halts its major combat operations
Sri Lanka called off its operations against the LTTE on Monday. This turn around seems to have taken place due to immense international pressure in the light of a humanitarian crisis which seems to be worsening in the northern regions of Sri Lanka. However the war has not been abandoned as per the government. Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee

Wednesday, April 29th 2009
Escape routes sealed by Sri Lanka
In its bid to prevent LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran from escaping the island the Sri Lankan government has sealed all escape routes. The naval blockade of the entire sea facing the Mullaitivu has been stepped up. This region has the remaining members of the LTTE holed up. According to reports in the media the LTTE leader Prabhakaran in the meanwhile has vowed not to be caught alive by the military.

Wednesday, April 29th 2009
Pak in a war with Taliban
The Pakistani army has launched a massive offensive against the Taliban. This has come just a few days before President Asif Ali Zardari flies to Washington. The army is using fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the targets in North western Frontier Province's Buner district which is about 100 Km from Islamabad. The army has also claimed that the soldiers have pushed out taliban militants from the lower Dir area The Lower Dir area had been captured by the militia over the weekend.

Thursday, April 30th 2009
Pak succeeds in pushing Taliban out of Buner
The Pakistani army has succeeded in pushing the Taliban out of the main town of the strategic Buner district in the North West Frontier Province. The army has claimed to have killed around 50 militants in its offensive which was launched early this week. In the meantime, a US drone attack in the neighboring Waziristan has killed at least 10 militants.

Thursday, April 30th 2009
WHO raises swine flu alert to phase 5
The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic swine flu alert to phase five which is the second highest level. This means that the international health body believes that a global outbreak of the disease is imminent. There has been a sustained human to human spread of the flu in at least two countries. This decision by the global body will follow recommendations of additional measures to combat the outbreak. WHO has already urged governments across the globe to step up surveillance

No comments:

Post a Comment