Weekday News Wrap: Friday, May 11, 2012
- Responding to a letter to which we linked yesterday, US Trade Representative Kirk has rejected criticism that the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement have not been transparent.
- The Greek left leader has asked the EU to re-examine its commitment to austerity.
- In talks to normalize bilateral relations, Zimbabwe has asked the EU to lift all remaining sanctions on Mugabe and senior members of his party.
- The 22nd World Economic Forum on Africa is taking place in Addis Ababa.
- Putin will not be meeting Obama at Camp David next week, postponing his first meeting as re-elected President.
- The Pakistani cabinet will meet next week to discuss ending its blockade on NATO supplies to Afghanistan.
- Lawyers for Chen Guangcheng’s family members are claiming that they are being threatened by Chinese government officials. Chen himself has said that officials are “going crazy” with reprisals. Foreign Policy has a piece warning us, however, not to believe everything we read about China, claiming that not even journalists know what’s going on.
- We’ve been following the escalating tensions between China and the Philippines recently, and our own Julian Ku blogged recently about it here. Today, there were protests in Manila against Beijing’s claims of the disputed islands. Their chosen protest song reportedly is the 1974 hit “Kung Fu Fighting”.
- RNW has a piece detailing the role of the Residual Special Court of Sierra Leone, now that the Taylor trial is over and the work of the Special Court is tapering off, and pointing out that much more work remains to be done.
- Foreign Policy outlines why Argentinians may not be that impressed with Obama’s backing of same-sex marriage, as yesterday the Argentine legislature, which granted same-sex marriage rights two years ago, became the first in the world to grant the legal right to gender reassignment, without having to undergo medical, psychological or judicial procedures beforehand.
- Officials in Russia have claimed that they’ve foiled a bombing plot, allegedly by Muslim extremists, set to occur during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
- The UN has claimed that three prisoners in Libya have been tortured to death and urged making the end of this practice a top priority.
- Pirates have hijacked a Greek-owned, Liberian-flagged oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
- A district court in The Netherlands has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block the file-sharing website, The Pirate Bay, highlighting the latest move in the issue of online piracy. The ISPs plan to appeal, stating it is not their role to monitor internet activity. Other countries are dealing with similar issues of balancing anti-piracy measures with fears of censorship