For the first time since its creation in 1974, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted India a waiver , thereby allowing this nuclear country to trade in technology with supplier states like the U.S., France and Russia.
The Global Citizen
With the crumbling of the nation's largest banks, national governments like Iceland on the edge of bankruptcy, and the recent failure of the trans-national interest rate lowering scheme, the governments of the world are in a panicked frenzy to stop the bleeding.
On August 13, 2008 the state of California passed Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 19 , which effectively prevents any California healthcare professional from engaging in torture, as defined by international standards.
The resolution comes in reaction to President Bush's March veto of a bill passed by Congress that would have amounted to a nationwide ban on torture.
Trial Begins in Miami for Torture Committed in Liberia
September 23, 2008 - The upcoming trial for the ex-Liberian president's son, Charles 'Chuckie' Taylor, Jr., marks the first remarkable step towards prosecuting human rights offenders who commit their abuses abroad.
Chuckie Taylor is accused of ordering torture during his father's presidency in Liberia between 1997 and 2003 as head of the nation's Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU). Mr. Taylor is an American citizen, and was born in Massachusetts.
According to a 14-year-old federal law never before exercised, American citizens or persons on U.S. soil accused of committing torture abroad are to be prosecuted in the United States. The case is the first of its kind and should trigger the beginning of an aggressive campaign to bring human rights violators to justice, whether they commit their transgressions on U.S. soil or abroad.
According to Human Rights Watch's senior counsel Elise Keppler , the "trial is a vital, long-awaited step by the U.S. government to ensure human rights abusers do not escape justice."
Although Chuckie Taylor was apprehended and detained in March of 2006, he has not faced trial yet due to several amendments made in order to add more victims to the indictment.
The alleged victims have reported shocking ill-treatment and torture including but not limited to: electric shock, burning, imprisonment in holes in the ground, execution and genital mutilation.
This trial is very important for Liberian victims who in the past have seen these crimes conducted during Liberia's wars go largely unpunished.
Embracing a more multilateral approach to international events, President Bush gave a determined and pointed speech at the opening of the 63rd General Assembly at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. Words like "terror" "fight" and "cooperation" were Bush's popular picks for describing the international body's drive against extremists and the need for all member states to work together to eradicate such threats. Reminding member states that they have an "obligation" to help other nations, Bush elaborated upon the ways in which members could work together. Instead of simply passing resolutions, he urged the countries to take a more pro-active approach against terrorism, and to prevent crises from erupting in the first place. Bush also took several swings at his critics by stating that those who believe that terrorists would "pose less of a threat if we'd only leave them alone" are not addressing the root cause of the problem, but rather are adopting the precise passive approach that these terrorists prey upon. He emphasized the potent and continued threat encapsulated in terrorism, and the dire need for the international community to work together to resolve the problem. Unlike his previous speeches in 2003, Bush placed a lot more emphasis this time upon the need for cooperation between states and the success that this would surely bring to the fight against terror.
The following are challengers who proudly list the GlobalSolutions.org endorsement on their website. Through their voting records and stated positions, they have shown that they will be the best at creating global solutions for the pressing problems of the 21st century. We're proud that they choose to show how important our endorsement is by including it on their "face to the world."
Running for the Senate are:
- Tom Allen: Maine
- Tom Udall: New Mexico
- Jeff Merkley: Oregon
Running for the House of Representatives are:
- Ed Chau: California's 42nd District
- Jill Morgenthaler: Illinois's 6th
- Don Betts: Kansas's 4th
- Steve Sarvi: Minnesota's 2nd
- Tom Perriello: Virginia's 5th
- Darcy Burner: Washington's 8th
We have many more candidates that we endorsed, but these select individuals know the value of our endorsement and are willing to show their voters that Global Solutions are important to their campaign. We salute them and look forward to working with them come January 2009.
For more information on all our elections news, please visit our election coverage.
Following the negotiations that took place the week of September 8, 2008, the political leaders in Zimbabwe have finally reached a deal to share power. Coming out of negotiations Friday, September 12, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai were smiling as they told reporters of the deal that had been brokered. Although details were only released the following Monday, both leaders expressed their satisfaction with the talks.
On Monday, September 15, the three leaders of the main political parties hosted a news conference during which copies of the deal were released to the public. Mugabe (ZANU-PF) will remain President of the country, while Tsvangirai (MDC) will assume the role of Prime Minister, and Arthur Mutambara of the Movement for Democratic Change breakaway faction MDC-M, will be the deputy Prime Minister. The cabinet will consist of 31 ministers, 15 from Mugabe's ZANU-PF, 13 representing Tsvangirai's MDC and 3 allotted to Mutambara's MDC-M. The deal brokered is such that in the event of a vacancy in the cabinet, the position must be filled by a representative of the same party, in order to ensure that the coalition structure remains intact until the next general elections are held.
Monday, September 8 2008, saw the resumption of power sharing talks between political rivals Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe. Following the failure of a clear victory for either candidate in the March 2008 elections, talks have since been launched in the capital to reach a negotiated settlement over power distribution.
When elections were first held on March 29 this year, it was the Movement for Democratic Change's party leader Morgan Tsvangirai who claimed victory. He had successfully won the first round of elections, but not with a wide enough margin to secure immediate control. The second round of elections was slated to take place on June 22, but Tsvangirai pulled out just days before, handing victory to Robert Mugabe. The insecurity in the political arena has mirrored itself in society, with violence breaking out between Zimbabwe African National Union - Political Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters. In the six months following the initial elections, over 200 Zimbabweans have been killed in clashes with government forces. International criticism, stemming largely from countries like the United Kingdom, France and the United States, has also drawn attention to the desperation that plagues the country.
In June this year former South African President Nelson Mandela broke his silence on the issue by criticizing Zimbabwe's "tragic failure of leadership." Mandela's statement came just hours before Britain's Queen Elizabeth II revoked Mugabe's Knighthood. Despite the mounting international pressure, however, Mugabe appears almost unphased as he proceeds for discussions with Tsvangirai.
McCain's pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin last Friday, only a day after Obama made his well-received-acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, has been described by many conservatives as "a breath of fresh air". Yet breathtaking would perhaps be a more apt characterization of the Republican candidate's VP choice and what has been the public's subsequent response.
McCain had good reason to pass over party favorites for a running mate that is relatively unknown on the national political scene. After Obama's pick of Senator Joe Biden, a likeable "regular Joe", seasoned politician, and a decision that McCain himself described as "formidable", many felt that this implicitly ruled out both the exorbitantly wealthy, Mitt Romney, and the hapless ideologue, Mike Huckabee. Furthermore, as McCain has been ridiculed repeatedly by the left for his similarities to the current administration, anyone who at least seemed similar to Bush would have been a risky choice in this political climate; but anyone too far from the Bush model would have alienated his conservative base.
In this context, Sarah Palin is an unlikely, but some would say, wise choice. Not only is she the youngest Alaskan governor in history at age 42, she is also the state's first female governor and the first Alaskan governor born after Alaska achieved U.S. statehood. Prior to assuming the governorship, Palin served two terms as the mayor of Wasilla, an Alaskan small-town home to 7,000 residents.
The month of August saw the release of the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Party Platforms just in time for the election season. Party Platforms are generally political manifestos that outline the party's general positions on topics considered most pertinent to the current political climate. Platforms rarely say anything that those faithful to the party aren't already aware of, but for those on the fence, it can be illuminating to have the issues clearly outlined. Now, perhaps, is as good a time as any for us to compare the party's respective foreign policy positions.