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									  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
Ahmadinejad dismisses
                                                                                           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
                                             climate talks
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

Pakistan’s government
                                             “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
                                                                                                                                                                                            the mainland.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 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

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