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Nov 23 2010

Morning Shinbun Tuesday November 23




Tuesday’s Headlines:

WikiLeaks release: WikiLeaks to release three million secret US documents

USA

Elsewhere, profiling is preferred method of airport security

New poll undercuts GOP claims of a midterm mandate

Europe

Irish PM is forced to call election as €90bn bailout sparks unrest

Nicolas Sarkozy ‘calls journalist a paedophile’

Middle East

Plebiscite required for return of Israeli land

Intel on Iran has telling flaw

Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi reunited with her son after 10 years

Pakistan opens its door to US ops

Africa

International justice and Congo ‘warlord’ on trial

Constitutional referendum passes in Madagascar

Latin America

Bolivian president criticizes U.S. in front of Robert Gates

North and South Korea Exchange Dozens of Artillery Shells



By MARK McDONALD

Published: November 23, 2010


SEOUL, South Korea – North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Tuesday after dozens of shells fired from the North struck a South Korean island near the countries’ disputed western sea border, South Korean military officials said.

The South Korean military immediately went to “crisis status,” said a Defense Ministry official. There were widespread media reports that Seoul had scrambled F-16 fighter jets but the official declined to confirm whether the planes were in the air.

The South Korean broadcaster YTN reported that one marine had been killed and three others seriously wounded in the shelling on the island, in addition to two civilian casualties. TV footage showed large plumes of black smoke spiraling from the island.

WikiLeaks release: WikiLeaks to release three million secret US documents

The WikiLeaks website has announced it plans to publish nearly three million more secret US documents in its next mass release of confidential material.

By Alex Spillius in Washington  

It would be seven times larger than its release last month, when it posted some 400,000 secret documents about the war in Iraq on its site.

“Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. Intense pressure over it for months. Keep us strong,” WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed, adding a link to a donations website.

“The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.” it added in a later message.

It would be WikiLeaks’ third mass release of classified documents after it published 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July.

USA

Elsewhere, profiling is preferred method of airport security

In many countries, singling out certain fliers is a matter of course

NBC News and msnbc.com

While U.S. air travelers struggle with strict new security checks, screening is generally less up close and personal at airports in other parts of the world, where preflight intelligence is emphasized. That puts the priority on identifying sophisticated threats in advance so that procedures many people consider personally invasive aren’t the crucial last line of defense.

Security is almost universally considered most effective at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. No plane operating from there has been successfully attacked since 1972, when 24 people were killed in a hijacking by a terrorist group calling itself the Japanese Red Army.

New poll undercuts GOP claims of a midterm mandate



By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.

Europe

Irish PM is forced to call election as €90bn bailout sparks unrest

Deal agreed but coalition falls apart – and Europe fears Spain is at risk  

By David McKittrick and Sean O’Grady   Tuesday, 23 November 2010

An extraordinary day in Irish politics ended in a major setback for Brian Cowen’s government last night after his coalition allies forced him to concede an election as soon as his budget goes through.

The Green party, which has kept Mr Cowen’s Fianna Fail in power for several years, effectively pulled the plug by calling for an election in January, giving him little notice of its demands.

After a day of frantic activity in which it became clear the government would not last beyond January, the Irish Prime Minister gave way to the demands of the Greens, who specified they would stay in government until the budget was passed and an agreement hammered out with the IMF, EU and European Central Bank.

Nicolas Sarkozy ‘calls journalist a paedophile’  

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France branded a journalist a “paedophile” in a furious response to being quizzed over “Karachigate”, the allegation of political corruption and murder that is threatening to torpedo his bid for re-election in 2012.

By Henry Samuel in Paris  

Mr Sarkozy is among a string of top French politicians embroiled in the affair allegedly involving kickbacks from the sale of French submarines in 1994. French magistrates are investigating claims that the cancellation of commissions to Pakistani middlemen led to a revenge bomb attack on a bus in Karachi in May 2002 in which 11 French engineers and four Pakistanis died.

The engineers were to supervise the assembly of the submarines.

The judges suspect that part of the “commissions” were kicked back to fund the presidential campaign of the then French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur. The official spokesman for Mr Balladur’s unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign was Nicolas Sarkozy, then the budget minister.

Middle East

Plebiscite required for return of Israeli land

The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MARK WEISS in Jerusalem

ISRAEL’S KNESSET has passed a law requiring that a referendum be held to ratify any peace agreement which involves Israel relinquishing territory. With negotiations deadlocked on both the Palestinian and Syrian tracks, the new law places an additional obstacle in the way of Middle East peace efforts.

The Knesset voted 65-33 in favour of the referendum Bill. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the law would “prevent the approval of an irresponsible agreement on the one hand, and offer strong public support to any agreement that guarantees our national interests on the other hand.”

Intel on Iran has telling flaw  



By Gareth Porter  

WASHINGTON – The most important intelligence documents used to argue that Iran had a covert nuclear-weapons research-and-development program in 2003 – a set of technical drawings of efforts to fit what appears to be a nuclear payload into the re-entry vehicle of Iran’s medium-range ballistic missile, the Shahab-3 – turn out to have a fatal flaw: the drawings depict a re-entry vehicle that had already been abandoned by the Iranian missile program in favor of an improved model.

The re-entry vehicle or warhead shown in the schematics had the familiar “dunce cap” shape of the original North Korean Nodong missile, an Inter Press Service (IPS) investigation has confirmed.

Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi reunited with her son after 10 years

Burma’s pro-democracy leader finally saw her son Kim Aris today when he was granted a visa by the military regime after waiting for several weeks in neighbouring Thailand

Associated Press

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 23 November 2010 04.44 GMT  


Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was reunited today with a son she last saw a decade ago, in an emotional moment at the Yangon airport 10 days after she was released from detention.

Kim Aris, 33, was finally granted a visa by the military regime after waiting for several weeks in neighbouring Thailand. Just before walking into the airport terminal, the 65-year old Suu Kyi, who was released November 13 after more than seven years under house arrest, told reporters, “I am very happy.”

Pakistan opens its door to US ops



By Syed Saleem Shahzad  

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani Embassy in Washington has lifted all scrutiny mechanisms for granting visas to defense-related American officials. Under the new procedures, implemented two weeks ago, officials will be granted visas in 24 hours.

Previously, under pressure from the armed forces, all applications for visas by United States defense officials were passed on to Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense, which in turn sent them to the directorate of Military Intelligence. After several months of scrutiny, visas were either granted or denied. .

Africa

International justice and Congo ‘warlord’ on trial

Test of court’s credibility as millionaire businessman and former vice-president faces charges of mass murder, rape and pillage

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The International Criminal Court began a key test of its credibility yesterday on the first day of a trial against the most prominent government figure ever to be put in the dock at the Hague.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, a millionaire Congolese politician, businessman and alleged warlord, denied charges of rape, pillage and murder in central Africa and has assembled a formidable legal team in his defence.

The prosecution has set its sights on using the trial to define a commander’s responsibility for his troops’ actions.

Constitutional referendum passes in Madagascar



LASZLO TRANKOVITS | ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR – Nov 23 2010  

A large majority voted on November 17 for the referendum, L’Express de Madagascar reported Monday. The opposition had urged the electorate to boycott the vote.

The ballot was part of a plan to restore stability to the Indian Ocean country, which has been in crisis since then-opposition leader Rajoelina forced out president Marc Ravalomanana in March 2009.

The report said that more than half of the electorate participated in the referendum. Earlier reports put turnout at 48%.

The results have not yet been certified by Madagascar’s election commission.  

Latin America

Bolivian president criticizes U.S. in front of Robert Gates

At a defense conference, Evo Morales speaks of plots and conspiracies originating in Washington. Defense Secretary Gates shows no noticeable reaction.

By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times

November 23, 2010


Reporting from Santa Cruz, Bolivia –

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Monday accused the United States of undermining democratic government in Latin America in a speech about purported plots and conspiracies originating in Washington, as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates listened only a few feet away.

Gates showed no noticeable reaction as Morales opened a conference of defense ministers with a rambling, hourlong address that condemned the U.S. military, several former American ambassadors to Bolivia, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the International Monetary Fund and two members of the U.S. Congress.

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