Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog group, Mohamed ElBaradei, has criticized the United States for withholding intelligence that it says showed the construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria that Israel bombed in September. The International Atomic Energy Agency chief was critical of both the US delay in releasing the information and of Israel’s bombing of the site before the IAEA could inspect it. We speak with former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter.
Scott Ritter, Ritter served from 1991 to 1998 as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq in the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). He is author of Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
BAGHDAD -- In echoing the Pentagon's latest accusations of Iranian meddling, the Iraqi government has placed itself firmly where it has long said it does not want to be: caught in the middle between Washington and its neighbor to the east.
Baghdad says it agrees with the United States that Iran has continued to supply weapons to anti-government militants in southern Iraq, including arms with markings indicating they were produced this year. On the other hand, the Iraqi government seems eager to send a message to the Bush administration to back off threats of military action and allow Baghdad to pursue diplomatic solutions more quietly with Tehran. More >>>
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The missile will have a range of 8 to 9 kms to strike air tragets like low flying fighters, armed helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles, army sources said here.
This is the third biggest army tender to be floated within a span of 60 days. Army had earlier invited Request For Proposals (RFP) for induction of heavy artillery towed, wheeled and tracked guns.
Under the acquisition programme, Army plans to buy 18 to 20 launchers of such missiles, with the Request For Proposals being sent to companies in Israel, French, European consotirum MBDA and French and Russian Companies.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was briefed yesterday by the US undersecretary of state for arms control, shortly before the director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, briefed members of Senate and House committees on the same intelligence.
"The director-general deplores the fact that this information was not provided to the agency in a timely manner, in accordance with the agency's responsibilities under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to enable it to verify its veracity and establish the facts," ElBaradei said in a statement today. More >>>
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
"In the past year there has been a friendly cooperation between Iran and the IAEA," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said. "We have responded to all questions and ambiguities that the agency had.
"About the alleged studies -- within that period of cooperation we responded to the issues that they had pointed out and our responses were completely clear, legal and logical," he said at a news conference alongside Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday that its deputy director general, Olli Heinonen, reached an agreement with Iran to examine allegations that Tehran has studied how to design nuclear weapons.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Pakistan said that a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead anywhere in Indian is ready for wartime use after troops launched it on Monday during a field exercise.
Scientists and engineers had prepared the Hatf VI missile, also known as Shaheen II, for the exercise with a test-firing on Saturday.
Monday's launch "validated the operational readiness of a strategic missile group equipped with the Shaheen II missile," the Pakistani military said in a statement.
The army says the missile has a range of about 1,200 miles, the longest of several missiles in Pakistan's nuclear-capable arsenal. That is far enough to hit targets anywhere in archrival India, as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
They also suggested carrying out more researches to invent more saline, drought and flood tolerant crop varieties and improving early disaster warning system, official news agency BSS reported. SAARC Agriculture Center organized the seminar titled 'Climate Change and Its Impact on Agricultural Production System in SAARC Region'.
Bangladeshi Agriculture Secretary Abdul Aziz said work of creating SAARC food bank has already been started as per the decision of the last SAARC summit in New Delhi. Aziz underlined the need for establishing an adaptation center and creating an adaptation fund for mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.
"Climate change is not a problem of only Bangladesh, it's a global problem and the South Asia will face its worst adverse effects," he said, adding that "only Bangladesh could not adapt with the climate change without regional cooperation as the flood depends on flows of trans-boundary rivers." Aziz said share of weather information among the SAARC member countries need to be ensured and a common center of early warning system for the agriculture sector need to be set up. More >>>
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The concession was made under heavy pressure from Canada, which wants the right to build uranium-enrichment plants to export the lucrative enriched fuel for nuclear-power plants. It marks an about-face for President Bush, who called in February 2004 for a ban on new countries becoming enrichment powers. The U.S. then persuaded Canada and other reluctant members of the Group of Eight top industrialized countries to agree to a nuclear-sales moratorium, a ban the group has renewed every year since.
• U.S. Concession: The Bush administration dropped its push for an international ban on sales of uranium-enrichment technology.
• Canada's Role: The U.S. was pressured by Ottawa, which wants the right to build uranium-enrichment plants.
• Possible Risk: Some say there may be an increased chance that nuclear materials will fall into the wrong hands.
But on Monday, at a Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting in Vienna, U.S. officials plan to back a new set of proposals that would abandon the U.S. quest for a moratorium and replace it with guidelines on technology sales to countries seeking to join the enrichment club. The 45-member group works to coordinate sales of nuclear technologies. More >>>
Friday, April 18, 2008
April 17, 2008 - DENILIQUIN, Australia — Lindsay Renwick, the mayor of this dusty southern Australian town, remembers the constant whir of the rice mill. “It was our little heartbeat out there, tickety-tick-tickety,” he said, imitating the giant fans that dried the rice, “and now it has stopped.”
The Deniliquin mill, the largest rice mill in the Southern Hemisphere, once processed enough grain to meet the needs of 20 million people around the world. But six long years of drought have taken a toll, reducing Australia’s rice crop by 98 percent and leading to the mothballing of the mill last December.
Ten thousand miles separate the mill’s hushed rows of oversized silos and sheds — beige, gray and now empty — from the riotous streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but a widening global crisis unites them. More >>>
Thursday, April 17, 2008
India's first report on safety of civilian nuclear power plants was presented Thursday at the Convention of Nuclear Safety (CNS) at Vienna by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Chairman S K Sharma.
India's complete compliance with obligations under all the relevant articles of the Convention in a 206-page report was presented by Sharma at the IAEA, AERB Secretary Om Pal Singh told PTI here.
CNS, which began on April 14, devoted one full day to India, Singh said.
Highlights of the report included legislative regulatory framework in India and co-operation with international nuclear regulatory bodies, he said, adding the report is available for public at www.aerb.gov.in.
Sharma was accompanied by 17 top officials from Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and AERB. More >>>
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
March 20, 2008 - The world has never faced such a predictably massive threat to food production as that posed by the melting mountain glaciers of Asia. China and India are the world’s leading producers of both wheat and rice—humanity’s food staples. China’s wheat harvest is nearly double that of the United States, which ranks third after India. With rice, these two countries are far and away the leading producers, together accounting for over half of the world harvest.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that Himalayan glaciers are receding rapidly and that many could melt entirely by 2035. If the giant Gangotri Glacier that supplies 70 percent of the Ganges flow during the dry season disappears, the Ganges could become a seasonal river, flowing during the rainy season but not during the summer dry season when irrigation water needs are greatest. More >>>
Monday, April 14, 2008
President Robert Zoellick said at a meeting in Washington that the international community has "to put our money where our mouth is" and act now to help hungry people. "It is as stark as that."
"It is critical that governments confirm their commitments as soon as possible and others begin to commit," Zoellick said.
Prices have only risen further since the WFP issued an appeal earlier this month, so it is urgent that governments step up, he said.
After a meeting of the bank's policy-setting committee, Zoellick said that the fall of the government in Haiti over the weekend after a wave of deadly rioting and looting over food prices underscores the importance of quick international action.
Zoellick said that international finance meetings are "often about talk," but he noted a "greater sense of intensity and focus" among ministers; now, he said, they have to "translate it into greater action." More >>>
Sunday, April 13, 2008
APRIL 9 2008 - A worldwide increase in the price of basic foods is provoking anger and despair in many of the world's poor countries. Both analysts and policymakers are attempting to rise to the challenge of understanding the reasons for the trend and what can be done, reports Heidi Fritschel.
Prices are surging for food commodities worldwide, posing a tough policy challenge for developing countries - can they protect poor consumers without crushing new opportunities for farmers?
Poor consumers across the globe are protesting about their rising food bills. In December 2007, Mexicans rioted in response to an enormous jump in tortilla prices, which quadrupled in some parts of the country; in January 2008, Indonesians took to the streets to protest high soybean prices; in February, protesters in three major towns in Burkina Faso, angry about the rising cost of food and other basic goods, attacked government offices and shops; unrest linked to food markets has occurred also in Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. More >>>
Saturday, April 12, 2008
April 8, 2008 - For decades, India ’s nuclear programs have been defined by two contradictory forces: the country’s vast ambitions and its limited uranium reserves. Its ambitions have led New Delhi to establish a significant civilian nuclear enterprise, to refuse to sign the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and to develop and test nuclear weapons. Its limited uranium reserves, on the other hand, have clearly slowed India ’s nuclear energy development, most likely hampered its nuclear weapons program, and intertwined the two efforts to a high degree. More >>>
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday 7 April 2008, The visit of Robert Gates, Secretary of Defence of the United States, to India on February 27, 2008 was another step forward by both the countries to strengthen their strategic relationship. The main aim of the visit was to discuss arms procurement and India’s plans to buy 126 multi-role combat fighter jets which will cost approximately $ 10.6 billion. The other main issue discussed was to have a joint missile defence system although discussions on this issue are at an early stage. Robert Gates said to the reporters: “We are just beginning to talk about perhaps conducting a joint analysis about what India’s needs would be in the realm of missile defence and where cooperation between us might help advance that.” More >>>
Monday, April 7, 2008
A little over a year ago, the U.S. Congress voted to approve the Hyde Act which changed long-standing U.S. nuclear non-proliferation laws, to allow the transfer of nuclear material and technology to India. Since then, the United States has made yet additional dangerous concessions to India. Now the India nuclear deal has become worse for everyone’s international nuclear stability.
For 30 years, until last year's Congressional vote, nuclear trade was reserved only for countries in good standing under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), our first line of defense against the spread of nuclear weapons. Countries that remained outside the NPT simply could not benefit from nuclear trade under U.S. and international rules. India, which misused international assistance intended for peaceful purposes to develop its own nuclear weapons and which is one of only three countries that never signed the NPT, was no exception.
Friday, April 4, 2008
The decision by the nuclear powers to retain their cold war nuclear arsenals even in the absence of the cold war proved worse for nuclear disarmament than the war itself. It quietly set a standard for the post-cold war period.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
It is stressed in the document that a nuclear tests and missile tests in North Korea presented a serious threat to East Asia and the whole world. In this connection Tokyo calls on the international community to exert new efforts in order to put an end to Pyongyang’s military programmes. The document also states that the way towards the total denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula remains difficult and long. More >>>