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Faith Injects Hope in Crisis Situations – UN Learns
IDN-InDepth NewsReport By Karina Boeckmann BERLIN (IDN) - Whether it goes down in the history of the United Nations as a milestone or not, the world body's "refugee agency" UNHCR has taken a significant step by acknowledging that when natural disasters and violent conflicts uproot entire communities and hope is slipping away, faith is the last straw at which the displaced and the forlorn clutch. GERMAN

 

225,000 Killed - But Democracy Eludes Afghanistan and Iraq
By S. Chandler IDN-InDepth NewsReport TORONTO (IDN) - At least 225,000 civilians and men and women in uniform have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which also involved Pakistan, and will cost the U.S. up to $4 trillion, albeit without any significant gains for democracy, says a new report that stands out for its first comprehensive analysis some ten years after George W. Bush junior declared the 'War on Terror'. JAPANESE

 

Growth Retarding Children in Chinese Villages
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsReport TOKYO (IDN) - Hundreds of thousands of children living in poor, polluted villages next to, and surrounded by, lead smelters and battery factories in China, where their parents work, have been found poisoned and suffering permanent mental and physical disabilities. JAPANESE

 

UN Peacekeepers Fight an Uphill Battle
By Richard Johnson IDN-InDepth News Report GENEVA (IDN) - Nearly 85,000 military personnel, more than 14,000 police officers, 5,700 international civilian and 13,700 national staff are serving in 15 operations on four continents as peacekeepers striving to navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace, according to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). JAPANESE

 

Young Tokyo Entrepreneur Looks Beyond Today
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature TOKYO (IDN) - "No matter how much civilisation has advanced, we cannot move human minds mechanically," says Tsuneyoshi Sakuma with a tinge of the philosophical, and adds, "I believe that 'moving cargo with our whole heart' is 'moving clients' thoughts safely' and living up to their expectations." JAPANESE TEXT + PDF

 

They Cure Symptoms of Poverty and Hunger
By Johannes Reichert IDN-InDepth NewsReport ISTANBUL (IDN) - If the fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC IV) "does not look promising at all," as former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, pointed out bluntly ahead of the gathering concluding on May 13, it is because the root causes of the problems of the world's poorest are not being tackled. JAPANESE

 

Germany Strengthens Film Ties with Japan
By Jutta Wolf IDN-InDepth NewsReport BERLIN (IDN) - As Germany and Japan celebrate 150 years of friendship, Berlin's twin city of Tokyo will host the first Talent Campus in Japan during the renowned film festival TOKYO FILMeX from November 21 to 26. JAPANESE

 

UN Launches Concerted Bid to Assist Japan
By Jaya Ramachandran IDN-InDepth NewsReport GENEVA (IDN) - As Japan battles to stave off a nuclear catastrophe, the United Nations has launched a concerted bid to help the East Asian country to cope with the multi-front disaster that Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called Japan's worst since World War II sixty-five years ago. As a result of the March 11 devastating earthquake, tsunami and atomic power plant breakdown, over 5,000 people have died, nearly 9,000 others . . .JAPANESE

 

Earthquake Challenges Japan’s Hi-Tec Reactors
By R Kim IDN-InDepth NewsSpecial SEOUL (IDN) - As the world commemorates 25 years of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the now defunct Soviet Union, the massive earthquake of the magnitude of 8.9 that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 is posing a serious challenge to the country's hi-tec atomic power plants. JAPANESE

 

Saving Family Business with Employees' Support
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature TOKYO (IDN) - Now an eminent CEO in Tokyo's Mitaka City, Masashi Takeuchi vividly recalls his days in Brazil's sprawling Sao Paulo, where he worked as a reporter for a newspaper that was rather popular with the Japanese community. GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

 

Okinawa Sends Out Peace Impulses
By Ramesh Jaura IDN-InDepth NewsReport BERLIN/NAHA (IDN) - Living in Germany, one tends to view the world from a European perspective, and focus only on the lessons Europe has learned from the Second World War in the last sixty-five years. Visits to East Asia, however, not only help to adjust one's lenses but also provide new insights. Japan is a distinguished example of a country that has been undergoing a bottom-up process of change. JAPANESE

 

Beyond the Illusion of UN Security Council Reform
By Ramesh Jaura IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis BERLIN (IDN) - Some nine months after President Barack Obama backed India for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, he may spring a surprise at the General Assembly opening session in September 2011 that would initiate a process paving the way for the promise becoming a reality. JAPANESE

 

Hosni Mubarak's Time to ‘Cut and Cut Cleanly'
By Ernest Corea IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis WASHINGTON D.C. (IDN) – Twenty-six years ago, another U.S. president sent another special envoy to warn another dictator, considered a strong U.S. ally, that his days were numbered. President Ronald Reagan chose his friend and confidante Senator Paul Laxalt for that prickly conversation with President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. Marcos responded with an undertaking to hold free and fair elections -- two years down the road. JAPANESE

 

Cancel the Licenses to Steal and Kill
By Julio Godoy IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint PARIS (IDN) - The legend has it that in 1948 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, confronted with the ruthlessness and corruption of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastazio Somoza, said that the latter was a "son of a bitch. But he is our son of a bitch". JAPANESE

 

Harmonizing Business with Employees and Society
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature* TOKYO (IDN) - "Everyone but me is my mentor." True to that maxim, constant communication with employees is his tenet. "I feel a sense of gratitude for all those who are working in my company. I want my employees to share with me not only a sense of commitment and responsibility but also a sense of pride and happiness as colleagues," says Masaki Ishihara. GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

 

Globalization in the Reverse Gear
By Roberto Savio* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint ROME (IDN) - Citizens all over the world are now being confronted with a series of hammering news releases by WikiLeaks' revelations on how U.S. diplomats see the world and how the financial capital speculates about the weaknesses of states from Italy to Germany. While developed countries have been carrying out massive cuts to their national budgets with sweeping layoffs, governments of the world had declared -- even before COP 16 ended -- that not much will be accomplished at the climate change meeting in Cancun, Mexico. JAPANESE

 

Another Africa is Emerging
By Paola Valeri* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalyisis MADRID (IDN) - Africa could be self-sufficient and in a position to feed itself within a span of one generation. This is what Professor Calestous Juma, from Harvard Kennedy School in the United States, told the leaders of the East African Community (EAC) in an informal meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, on December 2, 2010. The theme was African food security and climate change, JAPANESE at IDN   at IPS JAPAN

 

Eradicating Violence against Women in Nepal No Mean Feat
By Shailee Bhandari IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis* KATHMANDU (IDN/VISIONEWS) - Ten Nepalese women composed the first exclusively female team that first scaled Mount Everest on May 23, 2008. In doing so, they accomplished a unique feat. Equally significant was the message this historic act embodied for all women in Nepal: "there is no peak in the world that women cannot conquer." JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

 

Women Essential for Sustainable Peace
By Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint NEW YORK (IDN) - The International Women's Day in 2000 was an extraordinary day for me and will remain so for the rest of my life. That day, I had the honour, on behalf of the United Nations Security Council as its President, of issuing a statement that formally brought to global attention the unrecognized, under-utilized and under-valued contribution women have been making to preventing war, to building peace and to engaging individuals and societies live in harmony. JAPANESE

 

Biodiversity Conference Gives Cause for Rejoicing
By Hiroshi Nagai* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis TOKYO (IDN) - "If Kyoto entered history as the city where the climate accord was born, Nagoya will be remembered as the city where the biodiversity accord was born," said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He was commenting the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10) that concluded October 29 in Nagoya, Japan. JAPANESE

 

Populist Rhetoric Stigmatizing European Muslims
By Thomas Hammarberg* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint STRASBOURG (IDN) - European countries appear to face another crisis beyond budget deficits -- the disintegration of human values. One symptom is the increasing expression of intolerance towards Muslims. The Swiss referendum banning the building of minarets was no exception: opinion polls in several European countries reflect fear, suspicion and negative opinions of Muslims and Islamic culture. These Islamophobic prejudices are combined with racist attitudes -- directed not least against people originating from Turkey, Arab countries and South Asia. JAPANESE

 

An Eyewitness Account of the Battle of Okinawa
By Haruko Oshiro IDN-InDepth NewsTestimony OKINAWA (IDN) - "There was a hell called war in my youth. As long as live, I would like to speak out about the importance of peace and education so that we have no more war," says 88-year old Haruko Oshiro in a poignant eyewitness account of the desperately tragic situation confronted by Japanese in Okinawa toward the end of World War II.  JAPANESE PDF TEXT VERSION

 

The Long Road from Retail Chain to Global Environment
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature* TOKYO (IDN) - They are engaged in greening activities at home and abroad: tree planting in the Great Wall area in China, around the Quindao Lao Mountain Dam, in south Thailand, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, in areas around the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, and in Kenya. GERMAN | JAPANESE PDF HTML

 

Guarding Environment with a Paper-and-Pencil Project
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis* BANGKOK (IDN) - Asia-Pacific already has the largest number of motorized vehicles in the world and if the present trend continues, the region would in the coming years have more automobiles than Europe and North America combined. In Japan alone, the number of vehicles has swelled from 8.12 million in 1966 to 78 million in 2009. Of these 54 percent are passenger vehicles, 34 percent light-duty vehicles, and 8 percent trucks. The rest are motorcycles and buses. GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT PDF | CHINESE
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Music for People Around the World
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature TOKYO (IDN) - The depth and dimension of its repertoire is fabulous if not unparalleled: the sublime blend of beauty and music of an opera; the spectacular and dynamic creativity of a ballet; inspiring presentation of classics orchestrated by a magic wand; musicals, jazz, folk music and dance enlivening feelings of joy and happiness. JAPANESE

 

Overcoming Hazards - Striving for greater Safety
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature* TOKYO (IDN) - Nowadays they are trucking hazardous cargo. They carry fine chemicals and ethanols, imported by trading companies, to client factories in Tokyo and surrounding five prefectures, known as the Kanto area. But there is a long and exciting human story behind today's Gosho Transportation Company. The short of the long story is that before Yoshio Emori founded Gosho in 1969, its predecessor Emori Oil Co. Ltd was running 27 gas stations in Saitama and Tokyo. GERMAN | JAPANESE

 

Laos Burns Drugs - Criminal Syndicates Survive
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis TOKYO (IDN) - Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, has made significant strides in combating the scourge of illicit opium production and addiction, says a new report by the United Nations, but warns of serious problems arising from the country becoming a transit route for transnational criminal syndicates. JAPANESE

 

Learn To Live With Less So That Others Can Continue Living
By Mannava Sivakumar* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint GENEVA (IDN) – The impacts of climate change are now nowhere more visible than on the lives of billions of poor farmers around the world. In the last 50 years the world population has more than doubled -- from 3 billion in 1959 to 6.7 billion in 2009. JAPANESE

 

Japan Urged to Increase Development Assistance
By Richard Johnson IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis PARIS (IDN) - Japan has been urged to reverse the pattern of decline in its international development cooperation budget and to make progress towards its committed aid targets and regain its former position as a leading donor. JAPANESE

 

World Economy Taking New Shape
By Richard Johnson IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis PARIS (IDN) - The biggest economic story of our times is unfolding itself. In the new economic world we live in, countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are providing the dynamism for future growth. In fact, economic growth in the developing world has outpaced that in advanced economies for more than a decade. Developing countries are set to contribute nearly 60 percent of world GDP (gross domestic product) by 2030. JAPANESE

 

There is something Systemic about the Oil Spill
By Julio Godoy IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint BERLIN (IDN) - If the world needed a symbol of the dimensions of the environmental catastrophe the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico embodies, then it was this: Dozens of pelicans, the archetypical bird of the area, oil-soaked, condemned to dying before our eyes. Before us, helpless spectators, horrified by British Petroleum's deeds. JAPANESE

 

China Communicates With Foreign Media Professionals
By Madhu Datta IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis BEIJING (IDN) – Who is afraid of “creativity, credibility, rights and responsibilities” of the media? Certainly not China – particularly when it comes to projecting the image of a modern and vibrant country. For this, the Asia Media Summit 2010 in Beijing – organized by the inter-governmental Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) – provided an ideal opportunity. JAPANESE

 

Trucking Safe with Ecology in the Pouch
By Taro Ichikawa IDN-InDepth NewsFeature* Tokyo (IDN) - Like the kangaroo pouch pocket that provides a place of shelter for the young after they are born, the truckers of Tokyo’s legendary Nagai Transportation Company move their cargo with great care. No surprise therefore that the kangaroo is the logo of the company that celebrates “60 years of good faith and gratitude”. GERMAN | JAPANESE

 

The Responsibility to Protect Obama – 15 Months After
By Jayantha Dhanapala* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - Not since John F. Kennedy has an American President exuded such grace, magnetism and hope. If Obama fails to achieve his vision for his country and for the world there will be a long wait for another leader of his potential. Obama’s success will ensure a better USA and a better world. JAPANESE

 

Reflecting the Reality of War in Iraq
By Dahr Jamail* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis ANCHORAGE, Alaska (IDN) – The leaked video of a U.S. military helicopter opening fire on a crowd of people in Iraq is typical of the indiscriminate killing that has gone on since the initial invasion. On Monday, April 5, WikiLeaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a U.S. military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh. JAPANESE

 

Shrinking Aral Sea Sends Shockwaves
By Raushan Valikhanov IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis NUKUS (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s flying tour of the Aral Sea area has highlighted the woes caused by one of the greatest environmental catastrophes ever recorded. He witnessed the shocking sight when he flew over it on April 4, 2010. JAPANESE

 

Don’t Misuse Past Atrocities for Political Purposes
By Thomas Hammarbeg* IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint STRASBOURG (IDN) - Gross human rights violations in the past continue to affect relations in today’s Europe. In some cases the right lessons have been learned; genuine knowledge of history has facilitated understanding, tolerance and trust between individuals and peoples. However, some serious atrocities are denied or trivialised, which has created new tensions. JAPANESE PDF  TEXT

 

French Books for Child Victims in Central Africa
By Babukar Kashka IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis NAIROBI (IDN) – The Central African Republic (CAR) is in dire need of everything – in fact it has been beset by sporadic conflict in recent years between government forces and rebels and a spill-over of violence from neighbouring countries that have left hundreds of thousands of people displaced. JAPANESE

 

Parliamentarians Vow Support For Indigenous Peoples
By Ramesh Jaura IDN-InDepth NewsSpecial MANILA (IDN) – The concerns of the indigenous peoples, at the heart of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), are considered of vital significance by parliamentarians of the countries of Asia-Pacific. The region hosts some 70 percent of the indigenous peoples, who are among the poorest of the world and often the most marginalized and disadvantaged in their countries. GERMAN | JAPANESE

 

Crisis Group Shows Madagascar Way Out Of Stalemate
By Jerome Mwanda IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis NAIROBI (IDN) – Formerly an independent kingdom that was colonised by the French in 1896 but regained independence in 1960, the island nation of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the south-eastern coast of Africa has been in crisis since the bloody upheavals in early 2009. Several rounds of mediation under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and others have failed to unlock the stalemate.

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The Tale Of Two Earthquake Disasters
By Ashley Smith* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis BURLINGTON (IDN) - The world's tectonic plates are always in motion, but in the past two months, they seem to have struck more dramatically than usual. On January 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti, killing as many as 300,000 people and leaving more than 1.5 million people homeless. Then, on February 27, another quake hit south-western Chile, killing hundreds and leaving more than 2 million people homeless. JAPANESE

 

UN Warns Against Over-Dependence On GMOs
By Maria Luisa Vargas IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis MEXICO CITY (IDN) - Some nine billion people are expected to inhabit the planet earth by 2050. This growth forecast is giving rise to the question how the growing number of people will be fed. The biotech industry sees no problem at all. In its view, the way out of the current impasse and toward meeting future requirements is in the deployment of genetic engineering. But the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) does not share this view. JAPANESE

 

What About American, European Genocides!
By Fareed Mahdy IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis ISTANBUL (IDN) – Did you ask yourself what would happen if the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee adopted a resolution calling “genocides” the U.S. killing of American natives, the Spanish extermination of aborigines in Latin America, the atrocious American nuclear bombs on Japan or the U.S. wars on Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq – just to mention some massive murdering perpetrated by Western powers? Probably you did not. JAPANESE

 

Climate Change is Killing People in Drylands’
Ramesh Jaura talks to UN Assistant Secretary General Luc Gnacadja IDN-InDepth NewsInterview BERLIN (IDN) - “Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere,” says UN’s top official Luc Gnacadja, who is tasked with combating land degradation and drought – not only in Africa, the most vulnerable continent, but all along the drylands belt running from Latin America through Sahel and Asia. GERMAN

 

How Banks Colluded With Politicians To Mask Greek Crisis
By Badriya Khan* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis BARCELONA (IDN) – Have large international banks helped Greece -- and other countries -- falsify its official figures about the real magnitude of its debts? The question has not been raised by an anti-capitalism activist, but by the leader of one of the major Western market-based liberal economies, who has also provided a shocking, implicit answer to it. It would be a disgrace if it turned out to be true that banks that already pushed us to the edge of the abyss were also party to falsifying Greek statistics, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 17. JAPANESE

Illicit Wildlife Trade Third Largest After Arms, Drugs
By Babukar Kashka IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis NAIROBI (IDN) - With an estimated value of up to 20 billion dollars a year, the booming illegal trade in wildlife, which is vital to the whole system of life including human life, is reported to be the world’s third largest illicit business after arms and drugs. GERMAN

UN Atomic Energy Agency Combats Malnutrition
By Clive Banerjee IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis VIENNA (IDN) – More than six million children in developing lands die of malnutrition every year. Keen to remedy this unacceptable situation, a United Nations agency has started an ambitious project. GERMAN

COMMUNICATING UNITED NATIONS: ‘We Would Like To Be Creative’
Ramesh Jaura Talks To UN Under-Secretary-General KIYO AKASAKA IDN-InDepth NewsInterview BERLIN/NEW YORK (IDN) - Imagine blockbusters made in Bollywood and Hollywood with disarmament, climate change, millennium development goals and women as central themes – and the opening scenes showing a sign that says: “United Nations. It’s your world.”  JAPANESE

DEVELOPMENT: ‘Small is Significant’
By IDN Global Desk IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis (IDN) - About 500 million smallholder farms provide for 20 percent of world food production and almost 2 billion people comprising one third of humanity depend on what these smallholder farms produce. The farm households are living on less than two dollars a day. But there are signs that they are being increasingly recognised as part of the solution to the food insecurity and poverty challenges, says Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations rural poverty agency. READ IN THE BRUNEI TIMES | GERMAN | JAPANESE

CATASTROPHE IN HAITI: The Natural and Not-So-Natural Factors
BY ASHLEY SMITH* IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis BURLINGTON, USA (IDN) - A devastating earthquake, the worst in 200 years, struck Port-au-Prince on January 12, laying waste to the city and killing untold numbers of people. The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, and detonated more than 30 aftershocks, all more than 4.5 in magnitude, through the night and into the next morning. GERMAN

GLOBAL ECONOMY: Mammon and Faith Hand in Hand?
BY JAYA RAMACHANDRAN IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis GENEVA (IDN) - What has Mammon to do with ethics and values? A unique new public opinion poll reveals that an overwhelming segment of the younger generation believes that the basic tenets of faith must be integrated into efforts for shaping global, regional and economic agendas.
JAPANESE

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: Reflections On Race Relations
BY ERNEST COREA IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - Senseless statements by a senior Senator and a defunct politician stirred the race relations pot even as most of the country prepared to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day, in honour of his life and work and his enduring legacy. An ordained and practicing Christian minister, he was a committed follower of Mahatma Gandhi whose world view and political philosophy he sought to fold into his own struggle for racial justice and equality. JAPANESE

VIEWPOINT: ‘Chile’s Accession to OECD a Major Milestone’
BY ANGEL GURRĶA, OECD SECRETARY-GENERAL IDN-InDepthNews Special PARIS (IDN) - Chile signs up as the 31st member of the OECD and its first member in South America on January 11. For Chile, this marks recognition of nearly two decades of democratic reform and sound economic policies. For the OECD, it is a major milestone in its mission to build a stronger, cleaner and fairer global economy. GERMAN

UNITED NATIONS: Afghanistan and Iraq Missions Remain Pretty Costly
BY NIRODE MASSON IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis GENEVA (IDN) - The United Nations is poised to spend about 400 million U.S. dollars on special political missions in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010. This amounts to 8 percent of the world body’s total regular budget of about 5.16 billion dollars for 2010-2011. GERMAN

JAPAN: Pride and Caution
BY RAMESH JAURA IDN-InDepthNews Interview with Former Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu BERLIN (IDN) - At the age of 79, Toshiki Kaifu, former Prime Minister of Japan, continues to enjoy respect at home and abroad for his political acumen and humane approach to life and politics. In an interview with IDN-InDepthNews, he looks back with satisfaction and pride at some of the firsts in his active political life, views with great circumspection the present, and advises caution when policies impacting the future are on the anvil. JAPANESE

CLIMATE CHANGE: Bhutan Pledges Carbon Neutrality
BY NEDUP TSHERING* IDN-InDepthNews Service THIMPHU (IDN) – The under-reported Bhutan’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to combat climate change recognizes that the landlocked South Asian nation is highly vulnerable to climate change. With its fragile ecosystem, glacier lake outburst floods in the northern mountains constitute an ever-present threat. Of the 2,674 glacial lakes in Bhutan, 24 are considered to be potentially dangerous, says a new report. JAPANESE

HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S.: And On The 26th Day They Rested
BY ERNEST COREA IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The threat by the U.S. Senate’s opponents of health care reform to stall a vote on draft legislation “until hell freezes over” collapsed shortly after 7 a.m. on December 24, 2009, giving millions of Americans their first share of an elusive right: affordable health care. The Senate’s ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ was adopted by a 60-39 majority. Vice President Joe Biden, exercising a constitutional prerogative, presided at this historic session. JAPANESE

GLOBAL ECONOMY: ‘Over $1 Trillion Invested in Green’
BY J. CHANDLER IDN-InDepthNews Service TORONTO (IDN) - Private investors from industrialised and emerging economies have invested a record amount of more than 1.248 trillion USD ($1,248,740,645,993.00) since 2007 in promoting technological innovation and resource efficiency that will accelerate environmentally and socially sustainable industrial growth and economic development throughout the world. JAPANESE

CORRUPTION: The Rich Harm The Poor
BY JUTTA WOLF IDN-InDepthNews Service BERLIN (IDN) - The global civil society organisation Transparency International is unrelenting in the fight against corruption world wide. One of the tools at its disposal is the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that provides valuable information about progress made in combating an evil that continues to eat into the vitals of rich and poor countries, leaving the poorest on the verge of financial and economic ruin. Bribery, cartels and other corrupt practices undermine competition and contribute to massive loss of resources for development in all countries, especially the poorest ones. JAPANESE

21st CENTURY PARTNERSHIPS: ‘Pacific President’ on First Visit to Asia
BY ERNEST COREA IDN-InDepthNews Service WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - Much has happened since President Barack Obama made his four-nations-in-eight-days visit to Asia. The first state visit of a foreign leader (India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) hosted by Obama, and the ninth round of strategic consultations between the president and his advisers on which direction to take in Afghanistan, are behind us. The groaning tables and traveling travails of Thanksgiving Day are more on people’s minds than Obama’s walk up the majestic Great Wall of China.
JAPANESE

AFGHANISTAN: ‘Say Af-Pak and Face a Fine’
BY ERNEST COREA IDN-InDepthNews Service WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The contrived label “Af-Pak” should be banned, and anybody who uses it should be fined, says U.S. Congressman Adam Smith who chairs the House of Representatives Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities. His comment was made to a group of academics, diplomats, journalists and others whom he addressed recently on the topic ‘Committing to a Strategy for Success in Uncertain Times’. JAPANESE

CLIMATE CHANGE: Blowing Hot and Cold
BY JAYA RAMACHANDRAN IDN-InDepthNews Service BARCELONA (IDN) – As the milestone UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen draws closer, hot and cold blowing is gathering momentum. This became obvious as the last negotiating session before the Conference kicked off Nov. 2 in Barcelona, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) called on President Obama to earn the Nobel Prize he was given for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy. JAPANESE

Q&A: ’Japan Has the Potential to Be a Constructive Global Player'
TARO ICHIKAWA INTERVIEWS NEW KOMEI PARTY CHIEF NATSUO YAMAGUCHI IDN-InDepthNews Service TOKYO (IDN) – Japan should play an active role in supporting efforts toward a nuclear weapons free world, without jeopardizing its close and trusted relations with the United States, says Natsuo Yamaguchi, president of the New Komei Party, the country's third largest political party that has promoted and pursued initiatives to enhance peace and protect the vulnerable in Japanese society since 1964. Against the backdrop of its close and "vital" relations with the U.S. and growing understanding with China, dating back to more than three decades, Japan has the potential to act as a bridge between the United States and China as the two countries move towards confidence-building, avers the 57-year old Yamaguchi. JAPANESE

PAKISTAN: The Beginning of the End of Terrorism?
BY ISHTIAQ AHMED * IDN-InDepthNews Service SINGAPORE (IDN) - The reported death of the Pakistan Taleban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, is a major development in the ongoing struggle against terrorism. It carries crucial implications not only for peace and normalcy in Pakistan, but also in South Asia and indeed the wider world. Pakistan should not relent now. It is in Pakistan’s best interest to dismantle the terrorist networks that still exist in its territory, notwithstanding the formal ban on them. JAPANESE

RIGHTS: Millions of Slaves for Sale
BY BABUKAR KASHKA IDN-InDepthNews Service (IDN Human Rights Desk) - "After weapons and drugs, human trafficking is the third most lucrative criminal enterprise in the world." This statement, referring to three atrocious man-made murdering tools, appears on the presentation page of the multimedia web project on sex trafficking, The Price of Sex, a huge task undertaken by Bulgarian photojournalist Mimi Chakarova. JAPANESE

GLOBAL ATTITUDES: The Puzzling Impact of Obama's 'Glasnost'
BY ERNEST COREA IDN-InDepthNews Service WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - The most recent international public opinion survey conducted by the highly respected Pew Research Center contains within it the seeds of a fascinating riddle. In this instance, the answer is available as well. The question: What works almost everywhere else but does not in Pakistan, the Palestinian territories and Turkey? If you cannot think of the correct answer straightaway, give yourself 30 seconds and try a guess, however wild it might be. No? You are not in the guessing game? Well, the answer is straightforward: The Obama Effect. JAPANESE

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE: Is the G8’s Variable Geometry Sustainable?
BY RUTH DAVIS AND ANDREW SCHRUMM LONDON | WATERLOO, Canada (IDN) - The writing may finally be on the wall for the traditional G8 Summit. No longer can the eight convene effectively without the strong participation of the major economies of the global South. JAPANESE

SOUTH-SOUTH: BRICS Economies Gathering Critical Mass
BY IDN GLOBAL ECONOMY DESK BERLIN (IDN) - Quietly but definitely, the economies of BRICS -- comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- are not only reinforcing pride in South-South economic relations, but also emerging as an integral component of the world economy that they might begin to dominate in the next four decades. GERMAN

RIGHTS: Who Is Afraid of 300 Million Miserables?
BY BAHER KAMAL* MADRID (IDN) - There is a nation that does not appear on any map, has no name, no religion, and no borders nor laws. It is ruled by unidentified pundits and nobody recognises it. Its peoples were not born in the same land; neither do they know each other. But they are all hard workers and they certainly enrich the first world, the second world, the third world, and the international banking system. GERMAN | JAPANESE

RIGHTS: A Story of Camels and Baby-Slaves
BY BABUKAR KASHKA (IDN Middle East Desk) - Apparently, human beings have managed to assimilate the crabs’ ability to walk forth and back with equal ease. This is evident in many human activities, particularly in the field of human rights, where bigger steps backward often reverse smaller steps forward. The case of the camel child-jockeys in the Middle East is just one more clamorous example. JAPANESE

CLIMATE CHANGE: China Tables Tough Agenda For Copenhagen
BY RAMESH JAURA BERLIN (IDN) - With an eye on the critical Copenhagen climate change conference in December, China is asking industrial countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by no less than 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels. In a new document posted on the website of the country's economic policy-making National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China is also calling upon the rich countries to provide at least 0.5 to 1 percent of their annual gross domestic product to help developing countries grapple with climate change. GERMAN

THE GULF OF ADEN: Why Are Warships Rushing There?
BY BAHER KAMAL MADRID (IDN) - With the apparently hard to refute excuse of protecting their ships and the lives of their innocent civilian sailors against barbarian piracy actions by Somali groups, war vessels have been rushed to the Gulf of Aden – situated at the South end of the Red Sea, facing the so-called Horn of Africa, and giving access and exit to and from also the so-called Arabian Sea and from there to the open ocean. JAPANESE

G20: Japan Carries African Concerns to London
BY RAMESH JAURA BERLIN (IDN) Japan, the worlds second largest economy, is calling for global initiatives to reactivate financial flows to Africa, including government grants, concessional loans, lines of credit and additional instruments. This is the crux of a message Prime Minister Taro Aso is carrying to the G20 summit in London Thursday, Japan’s ambassador Takahiro Shinyo to Germany told German parliamentarians on March 26. JAPANESE

 

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