6 Wednesday 23rd December, 2009
Israel gives response to
Hamas prisoner swap offer
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has relayed clear whether it had yet received Israel’s
its response to a proposed prisoner swap answer from a German official mediating
with Hamas militants, including a list of the negotiations.
Palestinian prisoners it wants deported if A Palestinian close to the negotia-
the deal to trade hundreds of them for a tions had said the German mediator car-
single captive Israeli soldier goes rying Hamas’ proposal had given Israel
through, Israel Radio reported Tuesday . until Wednesday to take respond. The
A whirlwind of activity at the highest Palestinian, who spoke on condition of
levels of the Israeli government in recent anonymity because of the secret nature
Iran’s President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad makes a point as he days had suggested a deal to swap 1,000 of the talks, said there would be no fur-
delivers his speech in the plenary of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails for ther negotiations.
the UN Climate Summit in 23-year-old Sgt. Gilad Schalit, held by the Prisoner swaps are controversial in
Copenhagen, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009. militants for 3 1/2 years, could be close. Israel because of their potential to
(AP Israeli officials wrapped up marathon encourage militants to take more
top-level debates on the Hamas offer early
hostages. But the drawn-out plight of
Tuesday without announcing a decision. Schalit and his family has touched many
US deadline for But the fact that no more meetings were
scheduled indicated that an answer might
hearts in Israel, where military service is
compulsory and families expect the army
nuke deal have been agreed on.
Israel Radio did not give further
to do all it can to protect their children.
Bringing Schalit home could boost
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran’s president details on Israel’s response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
has dismissed a year-end deadline set An Israeli government official would domestically, given the Israeli public’s
by the Obama administration for not confirm the radio report but he said deep concern for the young soldier’s fate.
An Israeli man passes by cardboard cut-outs of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit
Tehran to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to the question of whether certain prison- But it could also hurt the prime minis- during a protest calling for his release, outside the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem,
swap enriched uranium for nuclear ers would return to the West Bank or be ter’s standing among Israelis who feel Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
fuel. deported was “clearly” an issue in the dis- releasing prisoners convicted of violence
The deal aims to diminish Iran’s cussions. The official spoke on condition would only invite more bloodshed. lence, such as the bombing of a Passover West Bank homes, on the assumption
stockpile of enriched uranium, easing of anonymity because he was not author- Israel has balked at meeting the celebration that killed 30 people in 2002. they would be less able to harm Israel
the West’s fears that the material could ized to release the details of the talks. Hamas demand to release Palestinians It also wants some prisoners deported from the isolated coastal strip along the
be used to produce a nuclear weapon. Hamas had no comment, and it wasn’t convicted of particularly shocking vio- to Gaza or overseas, rather than to their Mediterranean.
Iran, which denies it seeks to build a
bomb, has balked at the deal’s terms.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that
China blasts claim it ‘hijacked’ Taiwan-China
“if Iran wanted to make a bomb, we
would be brave enough to tell you.”
He says the West can give Iran “as trade talks under
many deadlines as they want, we don’t
care.” way amid protests
Ahmadinejad spoke on Tuesday to
supporters in the southern city of TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) -
Shiraz. BEIJING (AP) - China dismissed “We cannot again allow negotiations Negotiators from China and Taiwan
Tuesday a British editorial accusing it of on real points of substance to be hijacked met for a fourth round of trade talks
“hijacking” the U.N.-sponsored climate in this way,” he wrote. Tuesday amid protests from critics
talks in Copenhagen as baseless and Jiang said those responsible for the who fear the Taiwanese government’s
reaches out to politically motivated.
British climate change minister
editorial should “correct their mistakes,
fulfill their obligations to developing
China-friendly policies are opening
the door to eventual unification with
opposition Edward Miliband’s editorial singled out
Beijing as the culprit behind the talks’
countries in an earnest way, and stay
away from activities that hinder the
Top officials plan to sign a trio of
ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan’s embat- near collapse. international community’s cooperation minor agreements later in the day and
tled government is reaching out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokes- in coping with climate change.” discuss a free-trade deal that has fired
opposition as it seeks to limit the dam- woman Jiang Yu said the piece seemed The Copenhagen Accord emerged up critics of President Ma Ying-jeou’s
age from a recent Supreme Court deci- designed to sow discord among develop- principally from President Barack push to link the export-dependant
sion striking down an amnesty protect- ing nations. Obama’s meeting with Chinese Premier island’s economy ever closer to
ing several of its senior officials from She said the comments by an individ- Wen Jiabao and the leaders of India, China’s.
corruption charges. ual British politician - not mentioning Brazil and South Africa. But the agree- Hundreds of protesters have gath-
The court verdict has plunged Miliband by name - were an attempt to Britain’s Secretary of State for Energy and ment was protested by several nations ered outside the hotel in the central
Pakistan into political turmoil, dis- “shirk the obligations of developed coun- Climate Change Ed Miliband listens to a that demanded deeper emissions cuts by Taiwanese city of Taichung where the
tracting the government at a time when tries to their developing counterparts question during a Q&A event on the the industrialized world. meetings are taking place, held off by
the U.S. is calling on the country to tar- and foment discord among developing Copenhagen Summit at a conference cen- On Monday, Wen praised the outcome a strong police presence determined to
get Taliban and al-Qaida militants countries, but the attempt was doomed to ter in London, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. (AP of the talks and China’s role in achieving prevent a reoccurrence of the violence
launching cross-border attacks against fail.” “We did not get an agreement on 50 it. He told the official Xinhua News that marred a previous meeting in the
coalition troops in Afghanistan. Miliband wrote in The Guardian percent reductions in global emissions Agency that China “played an important Taiwanese capital Taipei one year ago.
Some opposition members have newspaper Sunday that most countries - by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by and constructive role in pushing the In their opening statements, the
called for officials who benefited from developed and developing - supported developed countries. Both were vetoed by Copenhagen climate talks to earn the negotiators dwelt on the benefits of
the amnesty including President Asif
, binding cuts in emissions, but that “some China, despite the support of a coalition current results, and demonstrated its closer cooperation for both sides.
Ali Zardari, to resign. But the Pakistan leading developing countries currently of developed and the vast majority of utmost sincerity and made its best “Peaceful development between
Muslim League-N’s senior leadership refuse to countenance this.” developing countries,” he wrote. effort.” the two sides is the overwhelming
has refrained from taking such a tough trend. No one can stand in its way ,”
SKorea questions 7 NKoreans over intent to return
stance, a move that analysts say is driv- Chinese delegation leader Chen
en by their desire to avoid destabilizing Yunlin said.
the country’s fragile democratic sys- Since taking office in May 2008,
tem. SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South channel YTN reported that the North Harvard-educated Ma has eased ten-
“I think the only real lifeline that Korea’s spy agency was questioning seven Koreans told investigators they wanted to sions across the 100-mile-wide (160-
can be thrown to the (ruling) Pakistan North Koreans who crossed into the go back to the North. YTN said South kilometer-wide) Taiwan Strait to their
People’s Party right now is if the oppo- South’s waters, an official said Tuesday, Korea planned to hand them over to the lowest level in 60 years, turning his
sition holds its fire and sees how this amid reports they wanted to return to North at the border village of Panmunjom back on predecessor Chen Shui-Bian’s
showdown between the political gov- their communist homeland. as soon as their desire was confirmed. pro-independence policies.
ernment and the judiciary plays out,” The North Koreans crossed into South The village is jointly overseen by the He has pushed a welter of busi-
said Cyril Almeida, an opinion writer Korean waters off the divided peninsula’s U.N. Command and North Korea - an ness-boosting initiatives, including
for Dawn, a leading English-language west coast aboard a small boat Monday, an arrangement established in 1953 to super- regular air and sea links with the
newspaper. official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. vise the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 mainland and ending across-the-board
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani The National Intelligence Service, Korean War. A small boat which is believed to have restrictions on Chinese investment in
likely had that calculation in mind on South Korea’s main spy agency, is ques- The NIS said it could not immediately been used by seven North Koreans who Taiwan.
Monday when he met with Shahbaz tioning the North Koreans, he said. He did confirm the news reports. crossed into southern waters off the While most Taiwanese back closer
Sharif, the brother of main opposition not give any further details and spoke on Earlier this month, the U.S.-led United divided peninsula’s west coast, is carried economic ties with China, a dip in
leader Nawaz Sharif and chief minis- condition of anonymity because he was Nations Command repatriated a North by South Korean officers at Incheon port Ma’s popularity in recent months has
ter of Pakistan’s largest province, not authorized to speak to reporters. Korean soldier rescued at sea by South in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea, hurt public backing for his pro-China
Punjab. Yonhap news agency and news cable Korea’s navy . Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009. policy .
Many in the main opposition
Democratic Progressive Party believe
Zimbabwe politicians reach breakthrough
Ma’s China-friendly push is setting the
stage for an eventual Chinese takeover
of the island, which the president
vehemently denies. China has made
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - supporters of President Robert Mugabe inclusive government. We hope that they unifying with Taiwan - by force if need
Zimbabwe’s rival leaders met Monday and continue to abuse human rights; and will agree soon on the issue of the be - the core of its Taiwan approach
announced they had reached two agree- charges from Mugabe’s party that removal of sanctions as well.”
since the sides split amid civil war in
ments, offering rare reason for hope after Tsvangirai’s group has done too little to Tsvangirai had become so frustrated
a year of impasse and disappointment. persuade the international community to he temporarily withdrew from the unity
The factions joined in a unity govern- lift sanctions against Mugabe and his top government in October. He returned three The DPP says Ma’s intended trade
ment said they were forming commis- loyalists. weeks later after receiving assurances deal - formally known as the Economic
sions to oversee human rights, the media The treason trial of a top Tsvangirai that South African President Jacob Zuma Cooperation Framework Agreement, -
and elections. Members of the coalition aide also has bedeviled a coalition found- would intervene. will flood the island with cheap
formed in February had agreed on the ed to rescue Zimbabwe from economic South African and other regional Chinese products, prompting massive
commissions, but deadlocked over their and political crisis. leaders had pushed for the coalition fol- job losses.
composition. But James Maridadi, spokesman for lowing a series of inconclusive elections “Our president has turned blind to
While Monday’s agreement did not Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a marred by violence blamed on Mugabe’s the possibility that jobs will be lost”
touch on the most contentious issues, it longtime opposition leader, was upbeat loyalists
after signing the agreement, DPP
will be seen as an encouraging sign of Monday He said the day’s agreements
. Tsvangirai has said that Zuma’s pred-
Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen told tens of
progress by those who argue that came after Mugabe, Tsvangirai and ecessor took too soft a line on Mugabe.
Zimbabwe is best served by quiet if slow Arthur Mutambara, leader of a party Thabo Mbeki, now replaced by Zuma as thousands of pro-independence
diplomacy . closely allied to Tsvangirai’s Movement regional point man on Zimbabwe, had demonstrators who marched through
A list of media commissioners Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe for Democratic Change, or MDC, met for argued that pushing Mugabe too hard ,
Taichung’s streets Sunday a day ahead
released later included a former state delivers his speech in the plenary of the three hours Monday, and that the three could backfire. of Chen’s arrival in Taichung.
broadcaster as chairman and the editor of UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, would meet again Wednesday to resolve In what was seen as a sign of stepped- Ma rejects that assertion, saying
a banned independent newspaper as his Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. (AP other issues. up intervention, Zuma appointed two the trade deal is necessary to prevent
deputy. Consultations were still under Ephraim Masawi, a spokesman for advisers and a special Zimbabwe envoy in Taiwan’s economic marginalization
ments over the appointment of provincial
way on the appointment of heads of the Mugabe’s party, said his party was November to work with politicians in amid growing commercial ties
governors, the central bank chief and
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and responding to Zimbabwe’s neighbors, who Zimbabwe. But he has not publicly taken a
attorney general; charges from Prime between Beijing and neighboring
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. have insisted “that we have to work harder line on Mugabe than did Mbeki.
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party that Asian countries.
Outstanding issues include disagree- together with the MDC formations in the