Russia’s Recognition of Georgian Areas Raises Hopes of Its Own Separatists

Sep 10th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

An association of nationalist groups, the All-Tatar Civic Center, swiftly published an appeal that “for the first time in recent history, Russia has recognized the state independence of its own citizens” and expressed the devout wish that Tatarstan would be next. The declaration was far-fetched, its authors knew: One of Vladimir V. Putin’s signal achievements as Mr. Medvedev’s predecessor was to suppress separatism. The Tatar movement was at its lowest ebb in 20 years.

Russia Agrees to Limited Pullout From Georgia

Sep 9th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Russian president Dmitri A. Medvedev announced Monday that Russia had agreed to withdraw its troops by mid-October from its positions in Georgia outside the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But Mr. Medvedev said Russia would stand by its decision to recognize the two breakaway regions as independent nations.

North Korea’s Kim ‘collapsed last month’

Sep 9th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

It reported on Saturday that five Chinese doctors had been in North Korea for more than a week, possibly to treat the country’s so-called Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il. But South Korea’s spy agency later said there was no indication Mr. Kim’s health might be worsening.

Asif Ali Zardari vows to lead ‘for Benazir’

Sep 6th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

On paper, Pakistan’s president is a ceremonial head of state, but the post, like the presidential palace Mr Zardari is likely to inherit, has undergone a vast expansion. He will have his finger on the nuclear button, and will possess the authority to fire and appoint the all-important army chief and to summarily dismiss the government.

McCain’s brazen change in attack

Sep 6th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Sarah Palin this week sucked away some of the media oxygen that helped carry Senator Obama, 47, to the top of the Democratic Party. A CBS poll yesterday indicated that Senator McCain and Senator Obama were now tied at 42 per cent each. The McCain-Palin ticket erased an eight-point deficit in the past week.

White House Unveils $1 Billion Georgia Aid Plan

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

The aid — along with Vice President Dick Cheney’s high-profile visit to a region the Russians call “the near abroad” — is sure to inflame tensions further. Russia’s leaders have openly accused the United States of having provoked the conflict by arming the Georgia military while encouraging its aspirations to join the NATO alliance.

Thai PM refuses to step down

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Samak Sundaravej accused the protesters who have besieged his official compound of trying to subvert the rule of law, saying the so-called People’s Alliance for Democracy should not be allowed to overthrow his popularly-elected government. Mr Samak also said he had accepted the resignation of his foreign minister, Tej Bunnag.

Georgians Eager to Rebuild Army

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Georgia is already drawing up lists of options, including restoring the military to its prewar strength or making it a much larger force with more modern equipment, like air-defense systems, modern antiarmor rockets and night-vision devices. So far the Bush administration has avoided publicly discussing how best to rebuild the Georgian military.

Russian President Dismisses Georgia’s Leader as a ‘Political Corpse’

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Dmitri A. Medvedev speculated that the war in Georgia was intended to benefit one of the candidates in the American presidential election, almost certainly a reference to Senator John McCain. He said the United States armed Georgia and then “gave Mr. Saakashvili carte blanche for any actions, including military ones.”

Thai PM declares state of emergency

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: World

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej had previously said he would not use force to push out thousands of protesters who have occupied the main government complex since last week, but after the worst street clashes in more than a decade said it was now time for them to go. “I did it to solve the problems of the country,” Mr Samak said in a televised news conference. “Because the situation turned out this way, I had no other choice.”