APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 15, 2009

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 15, 2009", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, October 15, 2009, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-15-october-2009/

APSNet 15 October 2009

  1. Rudd call stops refugee boat
  2. Australians warm to nuclear power
  3. Military erred on Afghan killing: Angus Houston, Joe Kelly, Australian 2009-10-13
  4. Britain to send more troops to Afghanistan
  5. Civilian goals largely unmet in Afghanistan
  6. Stephen Smith aims for India war game
  7. Surprise talks cover climate change, Stern Hu
  8. [Indonesia] Climate change threatens national security: Ministers
  9. Xanana Gusmao survives protest

1. Rudd call stops refugee boat, Nick Butterly and Andrew Probyn, Age, 2009-10-13

Indonesia’s navy swooped on a boatload of 260 Australia-bound asylum seekers after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an extraordinary personal plea to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. It is believed Mr Rudd was given top-level intelligence on the whereabouts of the boat by Australian officials in Indonesia. After the call, the Australian Defence Force immediately began work with the Indonesian navy to pinpoint the boat in open sea.

2. Australians warm to nuclear power, Ian Munro and Geoff Strong, Age, 2009-10-13

Australians are warming to the idea of nuclear power, with almost one in two saying it should be considered as an alternative source of energy to help combat global warming. An Age/Nielson poll found 49 per cent of Australians believed nuclear should be on the nation’s list of potential power options, while 43 per cent were opposed outright. The finding marks a big shift of public opinion from 2006, when a Newspoll showed just 38 per cent in favour of nuclear power and 51 per cent opposed.

3. Military erred on Afghan killing: Angus Houston, Joe Kelly, Australian 2009-10-13

Australia’s defence force chief last night admitted the military had made a mistake in its account of the killing of an Afghan policeman by Australian soldiers. Australian troops fired on two Afghan policemen riding a motorbike which failed to stop at a checkpoint near the Australian base at Tarin Kowt in August, killing one and wounding the other. The Department of Defence initially claimed the men were not in uniform when shot and did not identify themselves as police.

4. Britain to send more troops to Afghanistan, Gordon Brown confirms, Richard Norton-Taylor, Helen Pidd, Deborah Summers and Andrew Sparrow, Guardian, 2009-10-14

Britain will send a further 500 troops to Afghanistan as long as the Afghans also agree to increase their troop deployment in Helmand, Gordon Brown said. In a statement to the Commons, Brown said that he had had assurances from the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai’s main rival, that the Afghans would deploy more troops to fight alongside the British.

5. Civilian goals largely unmet in Afghanistan, Elisabeth Bumiller and Mark Landler, NYT, 2009-10-11

Even as President Obama leads an intense debate over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, administration officials say the United States is falling far short of his goals to fight the country’s endemic corruption, create a functioning government and legal system and train a police force currently riddled with incompetence.

6. Stephen Smith aims for India war game, Amanda Hodge, Australian, 2009-10-15

The Rudd government is pushing to rebuild its defence ties with India, risking the potential ire of China by formally requesting Australia be allowed to participate in the annual India-US joint naval exercise Malabar. Visiting Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said he had discussed the possibility of Australia rejoining the massive war games exercise during his meeting with his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, this week. He also invited India to participate in multilateral Australian Defence Force-hosted exercises Kakadu and Pitch Black.

7. Surprise talks cover climate change, Stern Hu, Michael Sainsbury, Australian, 2009-10-15

Global warming has begun thawing relations between Australia and China, with Climate Change Minister Penny Wong securing a surprise meeting with senior Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. While her discussions with Mr Li mainly related to climate issues, Senator Wong raised the situation of Australian Stern Hu, the senior Rio Tinto executive detained in July, who remains in a Shanghai prison awaiting trial on charges of stealing trade secrets and bribery.

8. Climate change threatens national security: Ministers, Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 2009-10-14

Climate change could pose a threat to national security with thousands of small islands that border the country at risk from rising sea levels. National Development Planning Agency’s (Bappenas) chairman Paskah Suzetta said if these small islands disappeared, international borders could shift and change maritime traffic routes. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi said Indonesia had already lost about 29 islands due to a rising sea level, from 2007.

9. Xanana Gusmao survives protest, AP, Australian, 2009-10-15

East Timor’s government survived a no-confidence vote called after it met Indonesia’s request to release an alleged militia leader accused of orchestrating the slaying of women, children and priests in a church a decade ago. The opposition Fretilin party put forward the motion in parliament to protest against Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s August 30 order to set Maternus Bere free. The UN has a warrant out for Bere, who is accused of crimes against humanity, including persecution, forced disappearances, torture, extermination and abduction.

 

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Richard Tanter,
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