Sunday, February 06, 2011

What's Happening Outside of Egypt? Sumo Cancelled, 2G Scam, Chinese Gift to Ukraine, and More

While US media are focused on Egypt, what's happening in the rest of the world?  This is just a quick view of online headlines around the world to remind folks that things didn't stop elsewhere.  It's just the media aren't covering them.  Fortunately, the internet makes it easy for us to gather the news ourselves.

I randomly picked countries from different continents and googled "[Country name] news".  Mostly these are the top stories (which in some cases seems to mean the latest) on the page, though I've picked out others near the top if they seemed more interesting. 

Rio Times:

Obama to Visit Brazil in March

By Nestor Bailly, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Early last week it was released that in March, U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Brazil on his first trip to South America. The announcement comes shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attendance at Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s inauguration, and the trip is widely viewed as a rejuvenation for U.S.-Brazilian relations.
BTW, Brazil is the 5th most populous country in the world with almost 200 million people.

 Radio Netherlands Worldwide:
Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders strongly opposes Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal’s planned visit to the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

The Freedom Party (PVV), which provides parliamentary support to the Netherlands' right-wing VVD-CDA minority cabinet, regards Jordan as the 'real' Palestinian state. “Its capital is Amman, not Ramallah. So Mr Rosenthal really has no business going there,” Mr Wilders said on Sunday.

Mr Rosenthal begins his tour of the Middle East on Sunday in Amman. In the following days, he will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Ramallah is home to the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters.

On Monday the Dutch foreign minister will first meet Jordan's King Abdullah II and his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh. Mr Wilders says he hopes Mr Rosenthal will raise the issue of a lawsuit brought against him by a Jordanian activist group for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in his anti-Islam film Fitna.
And this one:
Austrian football star Marc Janko is excited about the prospect of playing Holland in a friendly match in Eindhoven on Wednesday. “I hope to find the net a few times,” the FC Twente hitman told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
“It’s a special game when you play against the country you choose to live in. To be honest, I know it’s going to be a really difficult game for us. We’re the big underdog and I hope we can compete well against the Netherlands. They’re the vice world champions, so it’s going to be really, really difficult, but I’m looking forward to the game.”

From Romania:
04.02.11 | by: Alina Grigoras | in: homenews
They were charged with cigarette smuggling and bribery, the operation including large-scale raids at the border point and addresses of the suspects. Among the people taken into custody there is also a chief-commissar of the Suceava Police.
Seventy-seven border policemen and customs workers were detained at the Siret border crossing point (in the north of the country, at the border with Ukraine) on suspicion of cigarette smuggling and bribery yesterday morning. The officers and prosecutors with the Anti-Corruption Directorate General (DGA) performed parallel searches both at the customs headquarters and at the home addresses of the detained officers and customs workers.

From The Daily Nation in Kenya:

All eyes on Kibaki and Raila as deadline nears

Posted 2 hours ago
All eyes turn to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the one-week window given by House Speaker Kenneth Marende to resolve differences over the nomination of top Judicial, State Law Office and Budget office bosses begins to run out.
On Thursday last week Mr Marende declined to declare unconstitutional President Kibaki’s nominations for Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget that have been contested by Mr Odinga. (Read: Speaker holds back, but judge rules list illegal)
From Cuba:
Relatives of The Five Appeal for Justice
HAVANA, Cuba (acn) The relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly incarcerated in the United States called on all just and honest people from around the world on Thursday to join the struggle for the release of these patriots.

Mothers and wives of these fighters made the call during a meeting with some 300 Latin American youngsters, held at the Julio Antonio Mella International Camp of Caimito municipality, Artemisa province.
Who are The Five you ask?  Here's a bit from Wikipedia:
The Cuban Five, also known as the Miami Five (Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González) are five Cuban intelligence officers convicted in Miami of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other illegal activities in the United States. The Five were in the United States to observe and infiltrate the Cuban-American groups Alpha 66, the F4 Commandos, the Cuban American National Foundation, and Brothers to the Rescue . . .
For their part, Cuba acknowledges that the five men were intelligence agents, but says they were spying on Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the U.S. government. Cuba contends that the men were sent to South Florida in the wake of several terrorist bombings in Havana allegedly masterminded by anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative.

Kiev, Ukraine:
Ukraine calls on the Russian Federation and the United States to continue talks on the further reduction of nuclear armoury, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said this on the occasion of the coming into force of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions between the United States and Russia signed in Prague on April 8, 2010.
The Embassy of China in Ukraine in consideration of solving a crime, the kidnapping of a Chinese woman, has passed a BRDM light armored vehicle to the department of organized crime control of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine in Kharkiv region, the ministry's press service has reported.

Rejecting charges of his involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M Karunanidhi issued a legal notice to Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, demanding retraction of his 'statement' linking him to the scam within 24 hours.
The DMK patriarch, in his notice to Swamy, dismissed the allegation as "motivated by your personal malice, political rivalry and clamour for cheap publicity."
Karunanidhi's notice issued through counsel P R Raman comes a day after Swamy's plea in a Delhi court for continuance of his private complaint in the case, seeking to claim that it covered a wider canvas of "involvement" of the DMK patriarch.
 If, like me, you have no idea what the 2G scam is, here's what Wikipedia says about it:
The 2G spectrum scam involved officials in the government of India illegally undercharging mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones. According to a report submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General based on money collected from 2G licenses, the loss to the exchequer was Indian Rupee ₹176,379 crore (US$ 38.27 billion). The issuing of the 2G licenses occurred in 2008, but the scam came to public notice when the Indian Income Tax Department investigated political lobbyist Niira Radia and the Supreme Court of India took Subramaniam Swamy's complaints on record
India is the second most populous country in the world with 1.14 billion.


Religious Related Attack Killing 3 Wounding 5

Posted on Feb 06, 2011
Around one thousand mobsters from Cikeusik village, Pandeglang Regency, Banten Province attack a house belonging to an Ahmadiyya member on Sunday around 10:30 local time.
The attack have caused three Ahmadiyya members died and 5 hospitalized. The mobs also burned one car, push another one off a cliff as well as destroying the house.
The attack was triggered by the exasperation of local resident seeing more and more Ahmadiyya members come to the Umbalan village to settle. The 20 odd policemen who were assigned to secure the area could not do much facing the larger number of mobs.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the last Prophet according to Ahmadiyya movement

The Pandeglang Police say that the mob were angry after one of the Ahmadiyya member stabs one of the mobs during a heated argument. This accusation is strongly denied by Mubarik Ahmad a spokesperson for Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation.
Alislam has a long page on Ahmadiyya and says:
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Over a century ago, Ahmad emphatically declared that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam.
And this one:

Polluters Get Away Free In Indonesia

Posted on Jan 09, 2011
The Indonesian Environmental Group WALHI has urged the Indonesian Government to be firmer and take stronger action against the polluters. The current environmental Law No 32 year 2009 is deemed sufficient however, it’s technical directive No.27/1999 regarding Environmental Impact Analysis Requirement needs to be revised to include heavier sanction against  the offenders.

In 2010 WALHI recorded 75 pollution cases perpetrated by private as well as state owned companies which damaged as much as 65 rivers and 5 coast lines. Out of those pollution cases, only 14 were ever brought to trial.
Palm oil companies are still the biggest polluter with 31 pollution cases which includes rivers silting, followed with coal mining with 19 cases and gold mining with 7 cases. These numbers does not include years of byproduct pollution causes by these activities impacting major rivers.
Indonesia is the 4th most populous country with almost 240 million people.

Japan Times:

Sumo idled over fans' betrayal, long probe

Kyodo News

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hanaregoma confirmed Sunday that the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament has been canceled due to the match-fixing scandal and that the decision was made because the betrayal of sumo fans was unforgivable.
Hanaregoma said it is impossible to hold the Osaka meet, which would have started March 13, because it would confuse the fans and that he could apologize enough for the scandal.

Police stumbled upon the match-fixing involving 14 people in the sumo world when they found text messages suggesting bouts had been rigged in the course of their investigation last year into sumo players' illicit gambling on baseball.\
Rumors of bout-rigging linked to the underworld have plagued sumo for decades, but nothing has ever been proven.

 So, do you know the 1st and 3rd most populous countries?  They were both mentioned in the news reports above.  

1 comment:

  1. Glad you reminded me of this news aggregator--

    another way to remind us in the US there is another world out there.


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