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Showing posts from March 22, 2011

Ethiopia at center of global farmland rush

"It's very good land. It's quite cheap. In fact it is very cheap. We have no land like this in India," says Karmjeet Sekhon, project manager for what is expected to be one of Africa's largest farms. "There you are lucky to get 1% of organic matter in the soil. Here it is more than 5%. We don't need fertiliser or herbicides. There is absolutely nothing that will not grow on it.

Iran's Khamenei: West should arm rebels, not bomb Libya

Iran's Khamenei: West should arm rebels, not bomb Libya

"We condemn 100 percent how Gaddafi was and is dealing with the people ... the killing of civilians," he said. "But we also condemn 100 percent the entrance and interference of America and the West."

"They could have armed them, given them anti-aircraft batteries, instead they witnessed the massacre of the people for one month," he told a packed shrine in the holy city of Mashhad.

Biggest rally yet held against Iraq's Kurd leaders

SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - Thousands took to the streets on Sunday in the biggest protest yet against the government of Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish area, inspired by uprisings across the Middle East.

Protesters say the regional government, funded by a share of Iraq's oil wealth, has become corrupt and undemocratic.

Demonstrators have camped out since last month in the main square of Sulaimaniya, the second largest city in the Kurdish zone, calling for the ouster of the regional government.

Gaddafi regime fed names of jihadists to the CIA and to Britain

COLONEL Muammar Gaddafi's regime secretly provided information to Britain and the US on Islamic extremists in the east of Libya, according to leaked diplomatic cables and intelligence sources.

The names of hundreds of suspects were passed to the CIA and British intelligence.

“There was a strong, shared concern between Gaddafi and the US and UK Governments about radical Sunni jihadist terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” Paul Pillar, a CIA veteran who negotiated with Libya over its nuclear program, told The Times.

Photos of atrocities could threaten U.S., Afghan relationship

Photos of atrocities could threaten U.S., Afghan relationship

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The release of explicit photographs of U.S. soldiers apparently engaged in atrocities against Afghan civilians threatens to ignite tensions between the Afghan and U.S. governments and provide fodder for the Taliban's efforts to persuade Afghans that the foreign troops fighting here are a malevolent force.

Costs of Libya Operation Already Piling Up

With U.N. coalition forces bombarding Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi from the sea and air, the United States’ part in the operation could ultimately hit several billion dollars -- and require the Pentagon to request emergency funding from Congress to pay for it.
The first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn had a price tag that was well over $100 million for the U.S. in missiles alone. And the U.S. military, which remains in the lead now in its third day, has pumped millions more into air- and sea-launched strikes targeting air-defense sites and ground-force positions along Libya’s coastline.
The ultimate total that the United States spends will hinge on the length and scope of the strikes as well as on the contributions of its coalition allies. But Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said on Monday that the U.S. costs could “easily pass the $1 billion mark on this operation, regardless of how well things go.”

Libya intervention threatens the Arab spring - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Libya intervention threatens the Arab spring - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Western air and naval strikes against Libya are threatening the Arab Spring.

Ironically, one of the reasons many people supported the call for a no-fly zone was the fear that if Gaddafi managed to crush the Libyan people''s uprising and remain in power, it would send a devastating message to other Arab dictators: Use enough military force and you will keep your job.

Instead, it turns out that just the opposite may be the result: It was after the UN passed its no-fly zone and use-of-force resolution, and just as US, British, French and other warplanes and warships launched their attacks against Libya, that other Arab regimes escalated their crack-down on their own democratic movements.