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another_liberal

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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
Number of posts: 8,821

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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

Syria rebels say peace talks destined for failure.

Source: Al Jazeera America

The Bashar al-Assad regime and the Syrian National Coalition, Syria’s Western-backed political opposition, committed this week to peace talks aimed at pursuing the lofty goal of a mutually agreeable transitional government that can end the two-and-a-half-year war. "At long last and for the first time, the Syrian government and opposition will meet at the negotiating table instead of the battlefield,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday as he announced the long-delayed summit for Jan. 22 in Geneva. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby promptly affirmed his support for the planned conference and said his only regret was the long delay in scheduling the talks.

But comments from world leaders wrangling for a solution to the war belie a bleak reality: almost no one believes the long-anticipated talks will succeed – not even the Coalition itself. “I really don’t think the prospects of a successful meeting are there – the gaps between the two sides are huge,” Najib Ghadbian, the Coalition's special representative to the United States, told Al Jazeera. The Coalition will go to Geneva, Ghadbian said, to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged cities and for the release of some of Syria's tens of thousands of political prisoners. "From our point of view," he said, "we have nothing really to lose."

But the rebels actually fighting Syria’s war are more fervently opposed and say they will boycott the long-anticipated peace talks, the successor to the first Geneva conference in June of last year that proved largely ineffective.


Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/30/syria-rebels-skepticalaboutgenevatalks.html



The only rebels who will attend the talks are those who are not doing any actual fighting? I wonder how that's going to work out for everyone? Still, it is an important development, precedent-setting if nothing else.
Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 30, 2013, 10:54 AM (3 replies)

Iran invites UN inspectors to controversial Arak nuclear facility.

Source: Al Jazeera America

Iran has invited U.N. inspectors to visit its Arak heavy-water production plant on Dec. 8, the first concrete step under a cooperation agreement to clarify concerns about Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said the IAEA was looking into how Sunday's agreement between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear activity could be "put into practice" concerning the U.N. agency's role in verifying the deal. The IAEA will expand its monitoring of Iran's uranium enrichment sites and other facilities under the interim accord, reached after marathon talks between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.

"This will include the implications for funding and staffing," Amano told the IAEA's 35-nation governing board, according to a copy of his speech, "This analysis will take some time. I will consult the board as soon as possible when it has been completed."

The IAEA's visit next month to the heavy water production plant near the town of Arak is part of a separate agreement signed earlier this month between the Vienna-based U.N. agency and Iran. The IAEA has not been at the site for about two years, despite repeated requests, but Iran agreed on Nov. 11 to grant access to this facility as well as to a uranium mine within three months.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/28/iran-invites-u-ninspectorstocontroversialaraknuclearfacility.html



Iran's scary new reactor will now be under close United Nations' observation? That sounds like progress.
Posted by another_liberal | Fri Nov 29, 2013, 08:59 AM (7 replies)

The President's speech was anything but a surrender.

President Obama did about as much as he could to explain that the blame for canceled insurance policies rightly belongs on greedy, deceptive insurance companies who dupe many people into paying for policies which are nearly worthless when medical bills start to arrive. Most importantly, he offered a fix for the problem which clearly puts the onus on those companies, ordering them to contact their canceled policy holders and explain to them why their former policy is considered deficient by the government. The President allowed that companies can also continue to offer their rip-off plans in 2014 for those who still want them, but only after those policy holders are informed of the flaws in the coverage they will be paying for.

This is all to the good, and in no way a "Surrender" to anyone.
Posted by another_liberal | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:53 PM (14 replies)
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