Kamis, Desember 03, 2009
Amid loud acclamations of approval, top hardline Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami warned the West that Tehran will produce its own high-grade uranium for a medical research reactor, if the UN International Atomic Energy Agency refuses to provide the fuel.
Khatami insisted that the IAEA is required to supply the fuel, despite reservations by the West.
Hojatoleslam says IAEA regulations stipulate that the agency provide the fuel for Iran's medical reactor in Tehran. He says if the agency gives Iran the fuel, the matter is settled. Otherwise, he warns, the great Iranian nation which has developed its own nuclear technology will produce the fuel by using its own know-how.
The Iranian cleric said the IAEA resolution passed Friday is a "political, rather than a technical" move.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Tehran would not stop enriching uranium, but it would still cooperate to some extent with the IAEA.
"The answer to this [IAEA] resolution is definitely no," he said. "We are not going to suspend our enrichment activities. We are not going to suspend the completion of the Fordoo nuclear enrichment activities. But, at the same time, we are continuing cooperating with the agency, and all these activities will be under the IAEA safeguard, but only within the framework of the NPT."
Soltanieh also argued that Tehran would refrain from what he described as Iran's voluntary cooperation gestures towards the IAEA after Friday's resolution.
"They have been discouraged by this resolution Iran to take voluntary steps that we have taken in many occasions in the past, particularly the recent ones, when the [IAEA] director general [Mohammed al-Baradei] was in Iran," he said. "In fact, we took voluntary steps informing them about these new sites. (Iran's new nuclear enrichment site at) Fordoo was among these volunteer natures, because we should not have informed at this juncture. In fact, we have 18 months ahead of what we are obliged to. Therefore, we would not be committed to any of this."
A hardline Iranian member of parliament, Mohammed Karamirad, warned Saturday that Tehran could pull out of negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency or stop it from inspecting Iran's nuclear facilities.
Uranium enrichment is the process used to make fuel for nuclear power plants, but when extended it can also produce fissile material for an atomic bomb.
Friday's IAEA resolution criticized Tehran for building the secret nuclear enrichment plant at Fordoo, which it disclosed in September, and demanded that it cease construction on the plant immediately. Tehran was also summoned to disclose any other secret nuclear activities.
The IAEA resolution, which garnered the approval of 25 of the agency's 35 governing board members, including China and Russia, was the first taken against Iran since 2006. (Voa-news)
The European Union welcomed the Lisbon Treaty with a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal where the text was first signed. Getting all 27 EU states to ratify it however, was a long and arduous process that was only completed last month.
The new treaty lays out a series of fundamental changes within the European Union, including creating the bloc's first permanent president. That job has gone to former Belgian prime minister Herman Van Rompuy. Britain's former EU trade commissioner, Catherine Ashton, is the new EU foreign policy chief. Both are relatively little known figures in Europe and overseas.
Mr. Van Rompuy does not officially begin his duties until January. Speaking in Denmark on Monday, he limited his remarks to the press.
"I am in an interim period. I make only a short statement. Questions - ask them starting January 1. And I have 2 1/2 years to answer all your questions. But today, I am rather reluctant and I only limit myself to a brief statement," he said.
But Mr. Van Rompuy called for the world community to reach a strong climate change agreement at a summit in Copenhagen that begins next Monday.
"The European Union has been at the forefront of efforts to fight climate change. It is determined to play a leading, constructive role at the Copenhagen conference and to contribute to reaching a global, ambitious and comprehensive agreement," he added.
The bloc's executive body, the European Commission, will also see new commissioners next year. French diplomat Michel Barnier won the key job of internal markets commissioner, which covers the banking and financial sectors. Germany secured the energy post. Berlin has good relations with Russia, which provides a large share of Europe's natural gas. (Lisa Bryant-Voa)
After several months of deliberation, President Obama has announced his plan for deploying additional troops to Afghanistan. He unveiled his strategy before an audience of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, late Tuesday and a nation watching on television.
"The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 - the fastest pace possible - so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers," said President Obama.
The added troops will join an estimated 68,000 U.S. service members already in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands of allied forces.
The president spoke as Americans' support for the war continues to erode. A new survey by the Gallup organization shows only 35 percent of Americans surveyed approve of Mr. Obama's handling of the war - 55 percent disapprove.
At West Point, Mr. Obama said Afghanistan is not lost, but has been moving backwards for several years. He said al-Qaida is planning new acts of terror from its safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with the support of the Taliban.
"We must deny al-Qaida a safe haven," said Mr. Obama. " We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government, so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future."
The president appealed to America's allies to contribute more troops to the fight in Afghanistan, and said he is confident that they will.
"Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan," said President Obama. "Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility - what's at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world."
Mr. Obama said his strategy will allow U.S. troops to begin returning home by the middle of 2011, depending on the conditions on the ground.
"Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011," said Mr. Obama.
The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said after the speech he supports the president's plan, as long as the withdrawal does not begin until conditions in Afghanistan permit it.
"The president was absolutely right to call for building a sufficient Afghan capacity that will allow our troops to come home, rather than setting a hard withdrawal date that is not based on conditions on the ground or the advice of our generals," said Mitch McConnell.
A large part of the troops' mission will be to train Afghan forces to take over the fight against the Taliban and defend their country's security.
With most of the Taliban now in Pakistan, the president emphasized the need for a continued partnership with the government in Islamabad.
Civilian initiatives will be a large part of the U.S. strategy, especially in developing the region's agriculture, education and economy. Mr. Obama also said the U.S. will require improved performance from the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"We will work with our partners, the UN and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security," said President Obama. "This effort must be based on performance. The days of providing a blank check are over."
The president acknowledged that his new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost the U.S. $30 billion in the coming year, and he said he will work closely with Congress to address that cost, while trying to revive the recession-battered economy.
Over the past few months, Mr. Obama has held about a dozen meetings with his top military and foreign policy advisers, including commanders on the ground in Afghanistan. (Voa-news)
Kematian Michael Jackson malah mendorong penyanyi itu ke puncak pencarian yahoo.com Internet, sehingga mengakhiri empat tahun dominasi Britney Spears dan membantu menjatuhkan Presiden Barack Obama dari daftar 10 teratas.
Meskipun tahun ini didominasi oleh resesi, kebanyakan pengunjung masih tertuju kepada apa yang menarik peselancar jejaring. NASCAR, aktris Megan Fox, bintang realita Kim Kardashian, dan film Twilight menggantikan empat aktris yang tahun lalu menempati posisi atas.
Sampai Juni, ketika Jackson meninggal akibat kelebihan dosis obat, pelantikan Obama mengumpulkan sebagian besar peselancar jejaring, kata Vera Chan, pengulas kecenderungan jejaring di Yahoo Inc.
"Ketika berita mengenai kematian Michael Jackson muncul, lalu lintas luar biasa banyaknya, dan melampaui itu," katanya.
Kematian tersebut memiliki semua unsur intrik dan tragedi. kejadian itu mendadak, mengejutkan dan secara menakutkan akrab, kata Chan.
"Kemudian kasusnya diputuskan sebagai pembunuhan. Jadi itu adalah penyelidikan kejahatan yang sedang berlangsung. Kematiannya tak terselesaikan," tambahnya.
Berita hangat kian menarik pencarian tahun ini. Meskipun Obama merosot dari posisi ketiga pada 2008 jadi ke-44 pada 2009, pusat perhatian politik beralih dari kampanye pemilihan ke kebijakan khusus. Rencana pemberian perangsang berada pada posisi keempat dan pembaruan perawatan kesehatan di posisi keenam di antara pencarian yang berkaitan dengan Obama.
Di antara pencarian yang berkaitan dengan keuangan, kata-kata kupon dan pengangguran menempati posisi teratas yang meliputi Sistem Pemberian Tunjangan Mobil yang ditaja pemerintah, tunjangan pelajar, penyitaan, dan pekerjaan di pemerintah.
Ekonomi "tentu saja berbeda dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya, berapa banyak orang memantau situasi ekonomi", kata Chan.
Secara keseluruhan daftar 10 peringkat teratas "seringkali hanya sekilas perhatian kita, kegembiraan kita dan berita hangat", katanya.
Britney, penyanyi yang kemerosotan pribadinya menjadi berita utama selama beberapa tahun belakangan, anjlok ke posisi kelima di dalam daftar tersebut, hanya satu jenjang setelah Megan Fox, lambang seks di dalam film Jennifer's Body, dan di atas kartun Jepang, Naruto.
"Britney menempati posisi No.1 selama empat tahun, dan semua tahun itu tak menyenangkan buat dia," kata Chan. "Buat kesejahteraannya, dan buat kesejahteraan kami, saya kira kami bahagia bahwa kami tak perlu memeriksa dia."
Twilight menempati posisi kedua di dalam daftar, diikut oleh WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Fox dan Britney. Naruto menempati posisi keenam.Yahoo meraih 18 persen pencarian Internet di AS pada Oktober, sementara Google Inc mengantungi 65,4 persen, demikian pernyataan perusahan comScore. Data pencarian Yahoo hanya berasal dari laman dot-com perusahaan itu. (Warta-Kota)