APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, April 17, 2008

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APSNet 17 April 2008

  1. Aussie Oilers Chase Iraq Contracts
  2. NATO, Australia and the Future Partnership
  3. Sale to Timor Downplayed
  4. Australian State Supports ETimor Worker Plan
  5. AFP Releases Street Review
  6. Indonesia Arrests Two JI Members
  7. World’s New Crisis: Soaring Food Prices

1. Aussie Oilers Chase Iraq Contracts, Jamie Freed, SMH, 2008-04-16

Iraq is back on the agenda for three of Australia’s largest oil producers. The war-torn nation’s Ministry of Oil has revealed BHP Billiton and Woodside Petroleum are among the 35 international oil companies “pre-qualified” to bid for contracts to operate Iraqi oil and gas fields. And Oil Search is in advanced negotiations to pick up additional exploration ground in Kurdistan in northern Iraq.

2. NATO, Australia and the Future Partnership, Rod Lyon, ASPI, 2008-04-14

Australia and NATO have to think harder about their emerging partnership. There are some big issues involved here, including the role that NATO might play in Asia. Australia would be keen to ensure that NATO’s partnerships in Asia support the transition to a regional security order where regional countries carry more of the weight.

3. Sale to Timor Downplayed, Mark Dodd, Australian, 2008-04-17

While Canberra publicly is expressing no concern about the (Chinese patrol boat sales) deal, diplomatic sources have privately expressed disquiet about Chinese moves into a region regarded as “Australia’s patch”.

4. Australian State Supports ETimor Worker Plan, ABC, 2008-04-16

The government of West Australia says there is widespread support for a plan to bring in unskilled East Timorese workers to tackle the Kimberley region’s labour shortage. Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan says bringing in workers from East Timor would not damage employment prospects for local people.

5. AFP Releases Street Review, National Media Release, AFP, 2008-03-12

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty has said ‘The Street Review: A review of interoperability between the AFP and its national security partners’ had delivered 10 recommendations that would significantly improve the way joint agency counter-terrorism investigations were managed in the future.

6. Indonesia Arrests Two JI Members, Reuters, Age, 2008-04-16

Indonesia has arrested two more members of Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah, which could lead to the arrest of other key militants wanted for attacks in Southeast Asia. In particular, the police official said the arrests could help lead to the capture of Noordin Mohammad Top, one of the most senior members of Jemaah Islamiah who is still on the run.

7. World’s New Crisis: Soaring Food Prices, Lesley Wroughton and Jewel Topsfield, Age, 2008-04-15

The World Bank has issued an urgent call to rich nations to help stem rising food prices, warning that social unrest in poor countries is spreading and that 100 million people are at risk of being plunged deeper into poverty. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was among those pledging to put world food security on their political agendas.

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