APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 17, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 17, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, March 17, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-17-march-2008/

APSNet 17 March 2008

  1. Rudd Urges China Restraint
  2. Australian Defense Minister Backs U.S.’s Afghanistan Timetable
  3. Downer Denied Indian Scientists Visas
  4. Harsh Spotlight on Timor Forces
  5. Philippines: US, Australian Agents to Grill 3 Suspected Terrorists
  6. UN Bid to Mend Fences with Canberra
  7. Climate Change May Spark Conflict with Russia, EU Told

1. Rudd Urges China Restraint, Samantha Maiden, Australian, 2008-03-17

Kevin Rudd has urged China to show restraint against pro-independence activists in Tibet. Australia has raised concerns through diplomatic channels. As many as 80 people have been killed in the violence. Mr Rudd said Australia recognised China’s sovereignty over Tibet, but said recent developments were”disturbing”.

2. Australian Defense Minister Backs U.S.’s Afghanistan Timetable, Gemma Daley, Bloomberg, 2008-03-15

Australia Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said the nation supported the U.S. timetable for troops to remain in Afghanistan for five more years. “We’re committed to the project but of course it’s not unconditional; we expect those under-committed NATO countries to do more” Fitzgibbon said.

3. Downer Denied Indian Scientists Visas, Richard Baker and Sarah Smiles, Age,2008-03-17

Two Indian nuclear officials were barred from Australia on “health and character” grounds and for fear they would learn information to assist “India’s weapons of mass destruction program”. This was revealed in documents held by a Melbourne company involved in a longstanding dispute with the Commonwealth over the export of its equipment, which federal officials claim can be used in nuclear weapons programs.

4. Harsh Spotlight on Timor Forces, Stephanie March, Age, 2008-03-15

East Timor’s police and military have been accused of beating and torturing citizens since a state of emergency began. The country’s ombudsman, Sebastiao Dias Ximenes, compared the “mentality” of the East Timorese forces to that of the Indonesian police during their 24-year occupation of the nation. “The police of Indonesian (are) better than our police – not worse but better,” Mr Ximenes said.

5. US, Australian Agents to Grill 3 Suspected Terrorists, Alcuin Papa and Tarra Quismundo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 20008-03-14

Members of counter-terrorism agencies from the United States and Australia are in the Philippines to conduct tactical interrogations and profile three suspected terrorists arrested last month. Sources said the representatives of the US and Australia were observing the investigation of Jordanians Khalil Hasan Al-Alih and Walid Abu Aisem, and Indonesian Bae Haki.

6. UN Bid to Mend Fences with Canberra, Sarah Smiles, Age, 2008-03-17

Senior United Nations officials have visited Canberra in recent weeks to help repair relations with Australia, which they say cooled under the Howard government. Hilde Johnson, deputy director of UNICEF, said the Rudd Government had indicated “stronger support” for the UN, its targets of reducing poverty and the “multilateral system overall”.

7. Climate Change May Spark Conflict with Russia, EU Told, Ian Traynor, Guardian, 2008-03-10

A report from the EU’s top two foreign policy officials warns that “significant potential conflicts” are likely in the decades ahead as a result of “intensified competition over access to, and control over, energy resources”. The seven-page report has been written by Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy supremo, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations.

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