news update for 19 June

AFRICA AID- Turns out British PM Gordon Brown is good for something. Brown will today urge Britain’s EU partners to fulfil their aid pledges to Africa following a new report showing that the G8 has delivered only a seventh of the financial assistance promised at the G8 summit three years ago. The prime minister will tell the European summit that the world will have no chance of hitting the development goals for 2015 set by the United Nations if rich countries such as France, Germany and Italy fail to increase their aid budgets. Bob Geldof has personally criticized French PM Sarkozy for reneging on its G8 aid promises.

WAR IN AFGHANISTAN- With the first British female soldier killed in Afghanistan yesterday, analysts have sought to explain why casualties have increased. It is held that the war is entering a crucial stage as Taliban leaders resort to “terrorist” tactics with the help of foreign fighters exposing coalition troops to greater danger. “Its been a bad couple of weeks for the mission in Afghanistan, not because the strategy isn’t working – it demonstrably is – but because the human costs of a successful strategy are now evident,” Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, said. Historically, war has meant casualties, war has meant death. Why people continue to be surprised by this is beyond me.

CHINA OLYMPICS- Communist officials warned spectators in the Chinese region of Xinjiang to stay at home and watch the Olympic torch relay on television yesterday amid a growing security clampdown ahead of this summer’s games. Police elsewhere deported members of non-governmental organisations, stepped up inspections of foreign-owned premises and tightened controls on religious groups. This suggests China is clamping down on dissent in a bid to portray a stable and harmonious image ahead of the Games in August. The pre-Olympic squeeze has prompted criticism that this year’s games have become a shutting-down demonstration by the communist authorities. Amnesty International has argued that China’s human rights record is getting worse, not better, because of the Beijing Olympics. It urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and world leaders to speak out against abuses, including China’s handling of protests in Tibet.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on June 19, 2008.

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