Thursday, February 21, 2008

Media Chill in Pakistan

asia chill Global Warming?, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Musharraf is standing up to the media spin, but for how long?
A close presidential ally and PML-Q stalwart, Sheikh Rashid, cited three factors for his party's defeat: a deadly army raid last year at a radical mosque in Islamabad, pro-US policies and inflation.
However, had Musharraf had local allies, and had the Taliban and Al Qaeda not been the threats they are, none of those 'issues' would have impacted.
There is nothing wrong with being an ally of the US in the war on terror. There is something wrong with being allied with Taliban and Al Qaeda. Benazir paid for her early mistake of fostering the Taliban with her life.
How long can media spin support an opposition so beholden to terrorist elements?
Interesting picture re global warming. It has been the coolest February in Sydney for 50 years. That Kyoto agreement must have some magic in its paper .. even though there is more co2 than in '98 ..


Anonymous said...

Musharraf defiant amid vote tamper claims
From Danny Kemp in Islamabad
PAKISTANI President Pervez Musharraf today rejected demands to quit and called for a "harmonious coalition" as victorious opposition parties mulled a grouping that could force the key US ally from power.

Mr Musharraf was making his first official comments since this week's crucial parliamentary vote, which left him fighting for his political life after his allies suffered a heavy defeat.

"The president emphasised the need for harmonious coalition in the interest of peaceful governance, development and progress of Pakistan," a foreign ministry statement said.

But later, the husband of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto alleged that Pakistani authorities were withholding election results and attempting to alter them.

"Last night the situation was that they were trying to change the results," Asif Ali Zardari said two days after the polls in which his Pakistan People's Party (PPP) won the largest number of seats.

Nawaz Sharif, who Musharraf removed from office in a 1999 coup, and Mr Zardari both said they wanted to work with other opposition groups after the polls.

Mr Sharif urged Mr Musharraf to quit, while Mr Zardari said he would not work with anyone associated with the party that backed Mr Musharraf in the last parliament.

Mr Zardari said he would meet Mr Sharif "to find solutions to the problems of Pakistan".

A statement from Bhutto's PPP today "recalled General Musharraf's recent statements that if the parties supporting him were defeated in the elections, then he would resign from his office".

The election commission has not yet released the official results, saying that around half a dozen seats have yet to be confirmed.

"They are trying to rig the results by holding the final results of several seats," PPP leader Taj Haider said.

With votes counted in 258 out of 272 constituencies, the PPP and Mr Sharif's party had a combined total of 153 seats, the election commission said. The former ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) and its allies together had 58.

A close presidential ally and PML-Q stalwart, Sheikh Rashid, cited three factors for his party's defeat: a deadly army raid last year at a radical mosque in Islamabad, pro-US policies and inflation.

Anonymous said...

Ross Garnaut urges new greenhouse gas targets to tackle climate change
By Peter Williams
THE architect of the Federal Government's climate change policy says Australia should make early, deep cuts in greenhouse pollution and press other nations to follow suit.

Economist Ross Garnaut, who today releases the interim report of the Government's climate change review, also backed the adoption of interim emissions targets.

Professor Garnaut told a solar power function in Adelaide that the Government may need to go further than its target of cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

"Australia would need to be prepared to go considerably further in reduction of emissions as part of an effective global agreement with full participation by major developing countries, designed to reduce risks of dangerous climate change to acceptable levels," Prof Garnaut said.

"Unfortunately, time is not on our side. I am increasingly of the view that climate change is a problem we must as a global community tackle effectively in the next few years if we are to avoid unacceptable levels of risk."

He said Australia's vulnerability to climate change and its ability to cut emissions suggests it "should be pressing the international community towards the strongest feasible global mitigation outcome".

The economist supported the European Union approach of settling interim targets provided other developed countries made comparable pledges

"This sort of approach, which should apply both to interim emission targets and to long-term targets or budgets, is a sensible way of finding a middle ground between doing nothing and doing too much."

Prof Garnaut said international agreements on emission reduction would need to be tackled on a per capita basis to ensure developing countries came on board.

While a minor contributor overall to the world's emissions, Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of pollution.

Prof Garnaut also argued against nations delaying tough measures.

"Without strong action by both developed and major developing countries alike between now and 2020 it will be impossible to avoid high risks of dangerous climate change. The show will be over.

"Waiting until 2020 would be to abandon hope of achieving climate stabilisation at moderate levels."

Prof Garnaut's final report, which will inform the Government's plans for an emissions trading scheme, is due in September.

The Climate Institute said his speech struck the right note on tackling global talks for a post-2012 regime.

"It's in Australia's interest to take a leadership position internationally but also to take advantage the huge opportunities we have in Australia to reduce emissions to set an example at a global level," policy director Erwin Jackson said.

Anonymous said...

UN targets US on human rights
THE United States is guilty of "persistent and systematic" racial discrimination across all aspects of society from Guantanamo Bay to the justice and school systems, rights groups said.

"The persistent and systematic issues of racial discrimination have not been addressed" by the US government despite its adoption in 1994 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, said Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the US Human Rights Network.

"Unfortunately since 1994 we have found that the Government has not lived up to its obligations," Mr Baraka said, citing issues such as the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the black population of New Orleans, the treatment of immigrant workers, police brutality and housing.

"These issues have escaped the scrutiny" by Government officials that they deserve, he said.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will examine Washington's record later this week.

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN), along with a host of other rights and lobby groups including Human Rights Watch, has prepared its own "shadow report" highlighting what it says are serious cases of racial discrimination.

Human Rights Watch cited the different legal standards applied to non-US citizens detained at the Guantanamo Bay military prison camp.

"The US policy of detaining non-citizens without judicial review over their detention constitutes discrimination that violates CERD," said Alison Parker, deputy director of the US program of HRW.

She noted that US citizens were transferred from Guantanamo into the regular US justice system that afforded them more rights.

Ms Parker also cited the disproportionate impact on African-Americans and other minorities of both corporal punishment in schools, and the handing down of life sentences without parole for juveniles who commit murder.

The experts said both Democrat and Republican administrations had failed to implement the convention in full since 1994, but voiced some hope that November's presidential elections could bring progress.

"We have seen some interest on the Democratic side in at least engaging around issues of human rights," said Lisa Crooms, co-author of the USHRN report and a professor of law at Howard University in Washington DC.

On the Republican side, Ms Crooms noted that current frontrunner John McCain "at least knows of international law" and had campaigned prominently against torture while in the US Congress.

Anonymous said...

Abstinence 'will stop AIDs in Africa'
US President George W Bush signalled that he might drop his anti-HIV/AIDS strategy's insistence on sexual abstinence if he finds it is ineffective – but not now, because the program is working.

"I monitor the results. And if it looks like it's not working, then we'll change. But thus far I can report, at least to our citizens, that the program has been unbelievably effective. And we're going to stay at it," he said.

President Bush had been asked by a reporter in Ghana, the second last stop in his Africa tour, about the plan's focus on abstinence and fidelity as being at odds with tacit African acceptance of multiple partners.

"I understand customs and norms, but it seems like to me that if you really want to solve the problem, step one is to have a comprehensive prevention program," President Bush said.

He spoke as the US Congress has been tussling over the program, with the White House's Democratic critics looking to strip or modify a requirement that one third of the money go to emphasising abstinence, amid warnings from some health experts that doing so is ineffective.

President Bush detailed what he has called his "ABC" strategy - abstinence, be faithful, use condoms - and declared: "All I'm interested in is results. I'm wise enough to set the strategy and change the tactics if they're not working".

He also noted that the US plan includes caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and dispensing anti-retroviral drugs, and said that he had increased the number of people receiving the life-saving medications from 50,000 to 1.2 million.

"It's a good start, but it's only a start. And that's why, as the president mentioned, I've asked for congress to double our budget on HIV/AIDS to $US30 billion ($A32.65 billion)over five years," he said.