Monday, November 30, 2009

Radio Prague Today 11.30.2009

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Current Affairs: New party TOP 09 elects leadership with Karel Schwarzenberg as chairman

The new Czech political party TOP 09 held its first ever conference in Prague over the weekend, formally establishing itself on the country's political scene. Senator and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg was unanimously voted in as party head, while former finance minister and the key figure behind the party's foundation became its first deputy chair.

Current Affairs: Counter-intelligence service confirms it averted Iraq planned attack in 2003

Security experts and the public alike were left reeling on Sunday after a Czech TV station revealed that Iraqi intelligence agents working for Saddam Hussein plotted an attack on the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe. Spokesman Jan Šubert of the Czech intelligence service told TV Nova that the agents planned a machine gun and rocket propelled grenade attack on the building in a plot ordered by Saddam Hussein.

Sports News: Sports News 11.30.2009

In this week's Sports News, Czech preparations go smoothly for the Davis Cup clash with Spain; Šárka Záhrobská does what she does best in Aspen, Colorado, with another downhill slalom World Cup victory; and Sparta Prague catch up to Teplice at the top of the football league, although the flu-struck league leaders were allowed to make an early start to the winter break.

UN launches $7.1 billion Humanitarian Appeal; Australia aims to develop greener sheep

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Obama expected to pledge support for Pakistan, exit from Afghanistan

In a highly anticipated speech that will outline the direction of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to outline a time line for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the theater. Obama will announce the deployment of 30,000 more troops and how this force will assist in the transfer of security to Afghan forces. In a letter to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Obama explained the withdrawal will not come too early and that a more comprehensive bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan will help to ensure the conflict does not spread farther into Pakistan as it abates in Afghanistan. The New York Times (11/29) , The Washington Post (11/30)



Talk of an exit strategy is exactly the wrong way to go. I certainly hope the president doesn't do that because all that does is signal to the enemies and also to our allies, to the folks in Pakistan as well as the Afghanis, that we're not there to stay until the mission is accomplished."

U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. Read the full story.



Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.

UN Dispatch


United Nation
  • UN launches massive Humanitarian Appeal
    The United Nations launched its largest annual Humanitarian Appeal, calling for $7.1 billion in funding from rich countries to provide humanitarian assistance to 48 million people in 25 countries. Funds will be shared by 380 relief organizations working to help vulnerable communities overcome the effects of natural disasters and armed conflict. AlertNet.org/Reuters (11/30) Email this Story
  • Other News
Development Health and Poverty
  • Niland: Rape a significant problem in Afghanistan
    UN Afghanistan human-rights representative Norah Niland said rape remains a significant problem in Afghanistan, affecting all communities across all aspects of society. Though the situation for women has improved dramatically since the overthrow of the Taliban, rape remains a real threat to women, particularly in rural areas -- while justice is available almost nowhere in the nation. The New York Times/Reuters (11/30) Email this Story
  • WHO takes new position on HIV drugs for breastfeeding mothers
    The World Health Organization is reversing its position on the administration of anti-retroviral therapy drugs used to treat HIV, advising they be given sooner to breastfeeding mothers in hopes of preventing transmission of the disease -- a position that will call for more treatments for many more people. Though falling prices have widened the number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatments, particularly within poor countries, fewer than half of those who require treatment currently receive it. BBC (11/30) Email this Story
Hot Topics

Top five news stories selected by UN Wire readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Development Energy and Environment
  • Australia aims to develop greener sheep
    Australian scientists are working to identify a genetic link that causes burping in the hopes of breeding sheep that burp less as part of the country's efforts to battle climate change. Agriculture accounts for 16% of Australia's greenhouse-gas emissions, and 66% of agricultural emissions are methane from farm animals. BBC (11/29) Email this Story
  • Controversy surrounds Indonesian forest-protection plan
    Environmental groups are challenging plans of a giant paper and pulp company to protect the peat swamp forests of Indonesia's Kampar Peninsula under a United Nations-backed scheme regarding concerns the company's operations have contributed to environmental degradation for years. The UN backs a proposal to pay countries for protecting forests and rehabilitating degraded ones. The New York Times (11/29) Email this Story
  • India seeks more drastic emissions cuts
    Indian officials say emissions-cuts offers announced by rich countries ahead of the Copenhagen summit are insufficient to meet even the most conservative projections of cuts necessary to effectively battle climate change. India is inclined to resist legally binding emissions caps and will seek to protect its economic interests at the summit but plans to keep its emissions rate lower than developed countries. Bloomberg (11/30) Email this Story
Security and Human Rights
  • Swiss minaret ban prompts criticism
    An endorsement by Swiss voters of a ban on constructing minarets atop Muslim places of worship is drawing criticism from human-rights groups and some European governments. Opponents charge the ban constitutes religious oppression but conceded Europeans' fears of radical Islam need to be better addressed. Bloomberg (11/30) , The Times (London) (11/30) Email this Story
  • Iran approves funds to fight U.S., U.K. rights abuses
    Iranian lawmakers have backed a proposal to set aside $20 million to highlight and fight human-rights abuses committed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Iran's Foreign Ministry is tasked with producing annual reports on the rights' situation in the countries, while the bulk of the money will go to help "progressive movements" report on rights abuses. Reuters (11/29) Email this Story
  • Other News
Peace and Security
  • Iran to expand nuclear program
    Defying the UN just days after receiving a rebuke from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran pledged to add 10 more plants and greatly increase its production of reactor-grade uranium, a dramatic expansion of its current sanctioned nuclear program. Authorities from France, Russia, Germany and other nations condemned the plan, promising to consider new sanctions, while Iranian authorities said the expansion came in response to pressure brought by the UN Security Council members plus Germany. Experts say Iran lacks the economic capacity and technical expertise to expand its program quickly. Los Angeles Times (11/30) , BBC (11/30) Email this Story
  • Western Hemisphere slow to greet new Honduran president
    Though Honduran presidential candidate Porfirio Lobo clinched the election after his main rival conceded, many Western Hemisphere countries have refused to recognize the election -- one that prompted ousted President Manuel Zelaya to call for a boycott. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Brazil will not recognize the election because it does not want to encourage coups in other Latin nations. Though the U.S. said it will recognize a free vote, it has not commented on the outcome of the election. Google/The Associated Press (11/30) Email this Story
  • Pakistani leader transfers nuclear powers
    Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari ceded control over the country's nuclear arsenal to the prime minister as part of a gamble to remain in office. The unpopular leader faces the prospect of corruption and criminal charges, and immense domestic pressure to resign or relinquish many official powers. The New York Times (11/28) Email this Story
  • Other News
Security Manager - PakistanWorld Vision InternationalIslamabad, Pakistan
Program Officer - LATIN AMERICA PROGRAMThe Open Society InstituteDC, DC
Founding Head of SchoolGashora Girls AcademyGashora Sector, Rwanda
Hydropower EngineerInternational Relief & DevelopmentKabul, Afghanistan
National Director - PakistanWorld Vision InternationalIslamabad, Pakistan


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