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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MTV EXIT (End Expliotation and Trafficking) Campaign

MTV EXIT is a campaign about freedom -- about our rights as human beings to choose where we live, where we work, who our friends are, and who we love. Most of us take these freedoms for granted, but hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have had these basic human rights taken away. They are victims of trafficking - modern-day slaves -- and criminals have forced, defrauded, or coerced them into various forms of labor, or prostitution.

MTV EXIT aims to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking through television programs, online content, live events, and partnerships with anti-trafficking organizations.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

US military contractors

Will the mistakes that plagued military contracting in Iraq be repeated in Afghanistan? Riz Khan facilitates.... the great debate of American government using military contractors as mercenaries in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Currently in Afghanistan, there are 121,000 U.S. contractors and 68,000 U.S. troops. As a result of the coming surge, another 30,000 troops and 56,000 contractors are expected. But U.S. lawmakers are afraid that the mistakes that plagued military contracting in Iraq will be repeated in Afghanistan. Will the shadow armies be required to protect the Afghan civilian population? What are the chances that military contractors could cause major damage to Americas mission in Afghanistan? Will the Obama administration be able to prevent the waste, fraud and abuse seen in Iraq?

Pakistan in 2009 Battles Militants, Political Scandal.

U.S. President Barack Obama has made Pakistan a key part of his new strategy in Afghanistan. But as the U.S. and NATO battle Taliban militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan is facing its own challenges. Taliban insurgents have launched bomb attacks across the country. Meanwhile, a political scandal threatens to undermine the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. For VOA Correspondent Sean Maroney, Robert Raffaele narrates-

Monday, December 21, 2009

Darfur a 10 Minutes Overview of the Conflict in Sudan

Note: Ivan is available to talk at your school or anywhere else, or to be asked questions at

A brief overview of the Darfur conflict from Ivanwho has spent a considerable amount of time "on the ground" there.

The overview describes three of the significant "drivers" that explain what is going on in Darfur, but also show why decreasing the misery is so difficult.

The three "drivers" are 1) ethnicity, 2) oil (mostly China, in the ongoing "scramble for Africa"), and 3) desertification/climate change.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cambodia must not return Uighurs to China: Amnesty;

Wed, Dec 16, 2009  |  AFP

PHNOM PENH - Amnesty International urged Cambodia Wednesday not to deport 22 Uighurs who are seeking UN refugee status in Phnom Penh, saying they risked torture at home in China.

The right group's appeal came after China warned Tuesday that UN refugee programmes "should not be a haven for criminals" and said the 22 Uighurs, including three children, were involved in crimes.

"Amnesty International understands that the Chinese government has formally requested the Cambodian authorities to send these asylum seekers back to China," Sam Zarifi, the group's Asia-Pacific director, wrote in an open letter to Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

Hopes dashed at Copenhagen summit

It's being called a failure and a betrayal by many developing nations and environmentalists, but Barack Obama, the US president, says it's an unprecedented breakthrough.

At the Copenhagen Summit, President Obama brokered an agreement between China, India, Brazil and South Africa, backed by some European leaders.

But it fails to set specific targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and it isn't legally binding.

Many smaller countries have denounced the agreement, furious that they were excluded from negotiations.

Analysts Caution US Banking Crisis May Not be Over.

After receiving billions of dollars in government bailouts, U.S. banks are under increasing pressure to start lending money again. With banks paying back emergency government loans faster than expected, President Obama is reminding bank executives that it is their turn to help the U.S. economy. But as 2009 comes to a close, some analysts warn the banking crisis is far from over.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nigeria's political uncertainty.

Umaru Yaradua, the president of Nigeria remains in ill health, bringing the country's political stability into question.

Yaradua is seeking medical treatment at a hospital in Saudi Arabia, three weeks after being taken ill.

PR replies to BN - 4% GST bill tabled for first reading

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) anti GST committee - negates the ridiculousness of the BN's Finance Minister's earlier statement that everyone - the poor, the rich and businesses will  save money due to this new, GST tax regime. From where will the increase in revenue as stated by the Foreign Minister comes from?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Saudi Arabia, Egypt among restrictive on religion: study

DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt are among 10 mostly Muslim nations whose governments impose the most curbs on religion, according to a report on Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 

Afghanistan's government also ranked poorly, highlighting a potentially sensitive diplomatic flashpoint as President Barack Obama sends more U.S. troops to the Central Asian country to quell a growing insurgency.

The Pew report says nearly 70 percent of the world's 6.8 billion people who live in countries that have severe restrictions on religion.

BN - 4% GST bill tabled for first reading

The Good and Services Tax (GST) bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading by the second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, today. 

Amnesty condemns Australia's asylum policies

By James Grubel  |  CANBERRA, Dec 16 09  |  Reuters   

Australia's offshore immigration detention centre is in breach of human rights and must be closed, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, adding pressure on the government over a policy that may become a key election issue.

Amnesty refugee coordinator Graham Thom has finished a week-long tour of the immigration detention centre on Australia's remote Indian Ocean Territory of Christmas Island and described the conditions there as overcrowded and unacceptable.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Obama you won it, now earn it."

By Ross Colvin and Wojciech Moskwa  |  OSLO, Dec 11 09  |  Reuters

- President Barack Obama defended the right of the United States to wage "just wars" as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, acknowledging that as a wartime president he was a controversial choice.

In a speech at the award ceremony in Oslo, preceded by a fanfare of trumpets, Obama declared he would not "stand idle" in the face of threats to the United States.

He raised the spectre of a new nuclear arms race, potentially in the Middle East or East Asia, and called for tough sanctions against nations that did not abide by international laws, a warning to Iran and North Korea.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

US Air Force confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' drone

The photo of the drone in Afghanistan has raised questions about why the United States would be operating a stealth unmanned aircraft in a country where insurgents have no radar systems, prompting speculation Washington was using the drones for possible spying missions in neighboring Iran or Pakistan.

The US Air Force on Tuesday confirmed for the first time that it is flying a stealth unmanned aircraft known as the "Beast of Kandahar," a drone spotted in photos and shrouded in secrecy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Human Rights

The promotion and protection of human rights has been a major issue for the United nations since 1945.

That is when the Organisation's founding nations resolved that the horrors of The Second World War should never be allowed to happen again.

On the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Riz Khan show asks, Are human rights truly universal or have they become a tool used by the West to pressure the developing world?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Copenhagen Conference Gets Down to Work

The international climate conference in Copenhagen entered its second day amid reminders of global warming already underway and calls to produce a solid, workable deal in the days to come. VOA's Sonja Pace is at the conference and has this report.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

India, at 103,260 students, highest in States.

NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- While other countries provide the bulk of students pursuing courses at universities in the United States, the number of Malaysian students is nearing the 6,000 mark.

Trying to Make a New START

The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty would have run out at the weekend - but Moscow and Washington decided at the last minute to extend it while they try to complete negotiations in a replacement.  

Tiga siswa UM didakwa kes 'bini puaka'

Tiga pelajar Universiti Malaya dituduh di Mahkamah Sesyen Kuala Lumpur pagi ini bagi kes menconteng "bini puaka" dan "pembunuh Altantuya" yang ditujukan kepada isteri perdana menteri Rosmah Mansor.

Ketiga-tiga mereka Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin, Muhammad Aizat Roslan dan Muhammad Saufi Jelani didakwa bersama dua lagi pelajar Akademi Pengajian Islam (API) yang telah dituduh lebih awal, Mohd Izzuddin Hilmi Mohamad Zaini dan Mohd Syahruldeen Ahmad Rosli.

Afghan war not about self-defence

Obama said that there was no military solution, but that's all he's really offering . Afghan people must fight the Taliban and the warlords, US occupation makes it worse.India and Pakistan and other regional players must be part of the solution to Afgan war .