Video Shows Murder of Japanese Journalist by Burmese Military

The Burmese regime has claimed that Japanese photojournalist Kenji Nagai was killed by “a stray bullet.” But amateur video obtained by a Japanese television station shows the bullet that killed Nagai was anything but a stray. Here’s the video from a YouTube excerpt of a Japanese television report. Warning: it’s rather graphic: The Times of London has more. This may prove to one of those seminal moments in the history of the impact of “information and communications technology” on world politics.

Sarkozy’s Africa Policy Shift

The BBC Sept. 26: Nicolas Sarkozy became French president in May promising “rupture” on every possible issue – and he made clear that the old corrupt ties with former African colonies were among the items to be ditched.During the campaign he called for a “healthier relationship” with Africa. The message was reaffirmed during Mr Sarkozy’s first presidential trip to the continent in July – when he called for a new “partnership between equal nations” – and again during the current UN General Assembly in New York. In the clearest indication yet that Paris’s Africa policy was no longer focused on […]

Video of Burma Protests

As reports come in of the first deaths resulting from a nascent government crackdown against Burma’s protestors, one hopes the situation does not continue to turn violent. This video from YouTube, shot on Monday, Sept. 24, according to the amateur videographer, shows thousands marching peacefully in Rangoon:

Video on Ahmadinejad’s Visit to Columbia

It’s hard to miss our new video offerings, as we have a player embedded on every page. But for those who might only be looking at our blog feed through a reader of some sort, we wanted to call attention on the blog to the new video report filed by WPR Video Editor Aaron Ernst. Aaron was at Columbia Monday when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited, and he filed dispatch below that looks at the controversy surrounding the visit: For the best view of all our videos, see our video section. And stay tuned for more. We have some compelling […]

Background on the Burma Protests

The protests in Burma, led by the country’s monks, have grown to such a point that the ruling junta has threatened a crackdown, the New York Times reports: Speaking on state television, the junta’s minister of religiousaffairs told senior Buddhist clerics to rein in the tens of thousandsof monks who have marched through several cities in recent days. If not, said the minister, Brig. Gen. Thura Myint Maung, unspecifiedaction would be taken against the monks “according to the law.” Let’s hope the regime does not decide to use as a model its response the last time an upwelling of anti-regime […]

Commentary Week In Review

The Commentary Week in Review is posted on the blog every Friday. Drawing from more than two dozen English-language news outlets worldwide, the column highlights notable op-eds on major issues from the past week. Hedging Against Democracy Prompted by a recent New York Times article on the extent to which American companies and investors are involved in the creation and maintenance of China’s increasingly sophisticated internal surveillance system, the past week saw more than one noteworthy op-ed about the progressively capitalist nature of China’s big brother state. Harold Meyerson mused in the Sept. 19 Washington Post that the “American economy […]

New Feature: Top 10 WPR Articles

In the bottom left corner of our front page, we post links to the eight articles that are the most emailed using the “email to a friend” button that can be found on the blue tool bar at the bottom of each article. But you might be wondering which articles on WPR are the most read period, regardless of whether they’re emailed or not. Well, we’ve got the answers. Every Friday on the blog, we’ll be posting the top 10 most popular articles of the week, and of the previous 30 days. (Just one caveat: At the risk of seeming […]

Pol Pot’s No. 2 Arrested in Cambodia

DILI, East Timor — The most senior surviving member of the genocidal Khmer Rouge leadership has been arrested at his home in rural Cambodia, close to the Thai border. Nuon Chea, known by his Orwellian nom de guerre “Brother No. 2,” will face trial for crimes against humanity at the United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal established in Cambodia last year. He was Pol Pot’s right-hand man during the 1975-1979 reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge, during which almost 2 million people perished due to starvation, disease, enslavement, or execution, all in the name of utopian agrarian reforms, of which […]

Gelb on Mearsheimer and Walt

The New York Times has just posted to the Web (ahead of its appearance in print on Sunday) a review by Leslie Gelb of the new book on the Israel Lobby by Mearsheimer and Walt. It’s worth a read for the calm and convincing way in which Gelb rebuts the book’s thesis, which is that the Israel lobby jeopardizes U.S. national security: . . . I believe that the authors are mostly wrong, as well as dangerously misleading. But Mearsheimer and Walt are raising the very same fundamental, gut-check issues about American security and who controls policy that many Middle […]

The Roh-Bush Smackdown

The row (pun intended) between President Bush and South Korean President Roh last week in Sydney was about as publicly frosty as exchanges between the leaders of two allied countries can get. Richard Weitz has an analysis in our commentary section. Here’s the key excerpt from a State Department transcript of the exchange: ROH: I think I might be wrong — I think I did not hear President Bush mention the — a declaration to end the Korean War just now. Did you say so, President Bush? BUSH: I said it’s up to Kim Jong-il as to whether or not […]

Keeping Track of Iraq

Yet another report on Iraq was released this week, this time by the Pentagon. DOD is required by Congress to release quarterly reports called “Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq.” The latest one (pdf file) released to the public Sept. 17, covers June, July and August. The Washington Post report on the report focuses on the deteriorating situation in southern Iraq, “as rival Shiite militias vying for power have stepped up their attacks after moving out of Baghdad” in response to the “surge.” But the report featured both good and bad news: Overall, the report detailed both progress and setbacks. […]

The Materials Seized at the ‘Multi-Kultur-Haus’ in Neu-Ulm

In his report on the Islamist scene in the southern German towns of Ulm and Neu-Ulm, Roland Ströbele mentions the “incendiary” materials, “inciting hatred” toward Christians and Jews, that were seized by local police during a raid on the “Multi-Kultur-Haus” (MHK), an Islamic cultural center in Neu-Ulm. In a press release issued on December 28, 2005, the Bavarian Interior Ministry explained its decision to have the Multi-Kultur-Haus shut down and provided some examples of the materials seized. Here a translated excerpt: – For example, in a paper back edition in the MKH library titled “The Beliefs of the Sunni Community,” […]

Photo Feature: Floods in India’s Bihar State

BIHAR STATE, India — The worst floods to hit India’s northern Bihar state in distant memory have already affected more than 20 million people — roughly equivalent to the population of New York state — and killed hundreds. More rains are on the way. A deadly cocktail of poverty, state corruption, inept disaster management and climate change is to blame for the disaster. Yet India has the capacity to deal with such large-scale crises, and must do so as a step toward finally integrating vast swaths of its “backward” rural areas that stagnate as urban centers boom. Failure to do […]

Commentary Week In Review

The Commentary Week in Review is posted on the blog every Friday. Drawing from more than two dozen English-language news outlets worldwide, the column highlights notable op-eds on major issues from the past week. Bin Laden’s New Image The sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks prompted a surge of op-eds analyzing how Osama bin Laden’s image has changed since 2001, why he hasn’t been captured, and what the future may hold for him. Fawaz A. Gerges argued in the Sept. 13 Christian Science Monitor that a recent bin Laden videotape showed how he is now “venturing into a new […]

The Other Iraq Testimony . . .

Did Petraeus’ congressional testimony overshadow the more important briefing about political reconciliation delivered by Amb. Ryan Crocker? Writing in the New Republic, Eve Fairbanks thinks so: . . . it was Crocker, not Petraeus, who came toWashington with the critically important information about thesituation on the ground in Iraq, since the whole point of the militarysurge was to make space for political progress, Crocker’s jurisdiction.Plus, unlike Petraeus’s findings, his testimony wasn’t extensivelypreviewed. So what did he have to say? Watch for yourself:

Meanwhile in Afghanistan . . .

The day after Petraeus and Crocker gave the U.S. Senate an Iraq update, with the accompanying media circus, a press conference at NATO headquarters about Afghanistan went virtually unnoticed. Watch below what ISAF Commander Gen. Dan McNeil and NATO Senior Civilian Representative Amb. Daan Everts have to say about progress in that other war:

Mexico’s Pipeline Blasts

The Houston Chronicle reports that the same group that claimed responsibility for four bomb attacks against Mexico’s oil pipelines in early July is now claiming responsibility for the six Sept. 10 explosions of pipelines in Veracruz and Tlaxcala states. The group, the Popular Revolutionary Army, or EPR, is said to be seeking the release of two of its members held by the Mexican government. If a related aim is to bring the Mexican state to its knees, they’ve chosen their strategy well. It turns out Mexico is particularly vulnerable to an attack on its oil infrastructure. Based on this vulnerability, […]

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