Fears of Chinese land grab as Beijing’s billions buy up resources
By Sarah Arnott Saturday, 2 October 2010
China is pouring another $7bn (£4.4bn) into Brazil’s oil industry, reigniting fears of a global “land grab” of natural resources.
State-owned Sinopec clinched the deal with Spain’s Repsol yesterday to buy 40 per cent of its Brazilian business, giving China’s largest oil company access to Repsol Brasil’s estimated reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil and gas. The whopping price tag for Repsol Brasil – which values the company at nearly twice previous estimates – is a sign of China’s willingness to pay whatever it takes to lock in its future energy supplies and avoid social unrest. It will give the company enough cash to develop all its current oil projects, including two fields in the Santos
On eve of Commonwealth Games, India’s persistent red tape is in spotlight
By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 2, 2010; 12:15 AM
IN NEW DELHI It didn’t take long for the first athletes arriving in New Delhi last week for the upcoming Commonwealth Games to catch a glimpse of modern India’s two faces.
Their gateway to the country was the capital’s gleaming new international airport terminal, built by a privately led consortium and opened in June four months ahead of schedule.
But the official wristbands that the visitors were handed at the airport turned out to be an emblem of India’s famous red tape and government inefficiency.
The Political Wild Card
By MARK LEIBOVICH
Published: October 1, 201
WILMINGTON – Before she was a Tea Party cause célèbre, liberal laughingstock and perhaps the embodiment of a can-you-top-this-for-bizarre political season, Christine O’Donnell grew up in a “Brady Bunch” household of six kids (three Democrats, three Republicans), two parents (one of each) and an appreciation for the dramatic, the eccentric and the media spotlight.
“We were a big noisy family with a lot of backyard skits and carnivals,” said Ms. O’Donnell, whose mother, Carole, called her Chrissy the Pooh and whose father, Daniel, worked a series of small television roles before scoring his signature gig – playing Bozo the Clown.
SBA suspends major contractor GTSI from government work
By Robert O’Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Federal officials on Friday suspended one of the nation’s largest government contractors from receiving new work, alleging that the Northern Virginia company inappropriately went through other firms to gain access to contracts set aside for small companies.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s action imperils hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for GTSI Corp., a top-50 contractor that has relied on the Pentagon and the rest of the federal government for more than 90 percent of its sales in recent years.
Ukrainian leader tacks back towards EU from Russia
By Mary Dejevsky in Yalta Saturday, 2 October 2010
The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, denied yesterday that his country’s EU ambitions had been put on the back burner, insisting that Ukraine’s “European choice” remained an “unchanged priority for his government”.
His choice of words suggested a very deliberate attempt to counter claims that Ukraine’s hopes of EU membership had been sacrificed to a rapprochement with Russia.
His remarks were given extra weight by the setting: the opening of an annual Europe forum at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, where Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin carved up Europe in 1945.
Unification still a work in progress after 20 years
The Irish Times – Saturday, October 2, 2010
DEREK SCALLY in Berlin
Despite growing satisfaction with the fruits of unity, fissures remain in German society
FERGUS PYLE would have been highly amused. In 1994 the late, former Irish Times German correspondent visited the eastern industrial city of Eisenhüttenstadt – literal translation: Ironworks Town. He described in depressing detail the struggling steel mill and the exodus of people to the west. The “harsh contours” of four decades of socialism had, he wrote, “barely been dented by the hesitant signs of new prosperity”.
“Eisenhüttenstadt,” he surmised, “is not a place where tourists go.”
The battle for the Middle East narrative
Israel has military might and diplomatic influence, but is under pressure on a third front of its conflict with the Palestinians: how the world sees it, writes Paul McGeough.
October 2, 2010
A single word shrieked from the car radio, as US National Public Radio reported the uncertain fate of the latest round of Middle East peace talks, in light of last Sunday’s expiry of what has been billed as a moratorium on Israeli settlement expansion on Palestinian land.
In quoting no less a figure than the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, the reporter did not use the word settlement. Instead she attributed to him the dreaded C-word: colonies.
Ominous signs in Iran under siege
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Iran is increasingly under siege. From cyber-attacks on its nuclear infrastructure to biting economic and financial sanctions, to overt support for (armed) opposition groups, to a military build-up of neighbors, it appears that outside powers are making a concerted effort at regime change in the Islamic Republic.
If unchecked, this will likely yield growing regional tensions instead of dialogue that reduces them. For all practical purposes, United States President Barack Obama’s “Iran engagement” policy has turned into a subversive engagement with pro-democracy and opposition groups, tantamount to a new level of interference in Iran’s internal affairs under the veneer of democracy and human rights.
Court accused of bias over mosque verdict
Matt Wade October 2, 2010
DELHI: There was an anxious mood among the worshippers during Friday prayers at Delhi’s Jama Masjid, one of India’s biggest mosques.
A day after a court ruled that a disputed plot of land in the north Indian town of Ayodhya should be split between Muslims and Hindus some worshippers were angry.
“This is a black day for India,” said Mazharima Imam.
The imam of the Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Dukhari, appealed for peace five times during his address yesterday “This was one of the most sensitive Friday prayers in recent years,” his spokesman said
Japan poured oil on troubled waters
By Peter Lee
In the fuss over Japan’s detention of the Chinese fishing vessel and its captain, Zhan Qixiong, after a scuffle near the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands, the world received a foretaste of how World War III might break out in the China Sea.
All it takes is a confrontation at some contested but otherwise insignificant rock, a combustible combination of rhetoric, provocation, and retaliation, an American propensity for meddling, and the participation of a credulous and obliging media …
… and, perhaps, the active involvement of Japan, which already has some experience in igniting world wars in doomed attempts to extract itself from strategic and economic cul de sacs.
Mystery surrounds award for Swazi prime minister
The kingdom of Swaziland says its prime minister is receiving an award for “contributions to humankind” on Saturday, but the group apparently bestowing the honour appears to be little more than a Florida phone number and website.
DONNA BRYSON | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Oct 02 2010
The decision to recognise Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini with a “World Citizen Award” has prompted outrage from human rights groups who have criticised the poor records on human rights and resistance to democratic reform in sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy.
The prime minister, who has recently gained attention for comments in the Swazi media that anti-government protesters should be tortured, already has flown to the Bahamas to pick up the award, his office said.
Eight Die, Others Injured In Abuja Blast
We’ll Get You, Jonathan Tells Bombers
MEND Sent Bomb Alert Shortly Before Blasts
Henry Orkah Arrested, Released In South Africa Over Incident
SATURDAY, 02 OCTOBER 2010 00:00 FROM MARTINS OLOJA, JOHN -ABBA OGBODO (ABUJA) AND ALEX OLISE (LAGOS)
NIGERIANS expected the sky to be lit up with fireworks. But what they heard at the venue of the celebration was boom – and the sky was filled with rolls of smoke from an explosion.
It was the 50th independence anniversary of the nation turned into a tragedy. It left behind eight dead persons and several others who were injured.
But that was apparently because the security agents did not take the threat of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) seriously.
In a statement shortly before the explosions, MEND issued what it called bomb alert. The statement read in part:
A Dangerous Journey for Brazil’s Illegal Migrants
By Jens Glüsing
Juliard Aires Fernandes had been warned. His friends had told him he could easily die while attempting to cross the border between Mexico and the United States unaided. Acquaintances who had recently returned said it was no longer even worth the journey. The dollar wasn’t worth anything any longer. His father, 66-year-old Alirio Aires, distinctly remembers their words: “They urged him to stay in Brazil. ‘Here at least you have a future,’ they said.”
But 19-year-old Juliard, who was born and grew up in the village of Sardoa near the city of Governador Valardares in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, refused to listen to the warnings. The US was his dream, his father recalls: “Nothing could stop him.”