The formal acceptance of the new U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Bertholf, slated for last week, was supposed to be good news for the nation’s troubled fifth military service. Instead, the 5,000-ton ship — the largest and potentially most powerful vessel in Coast Guard history — has become another chapter in the mounting scandal surrounding the service’s $25-billion Deepwater modernization program. Deepwater, launched in 2002, aims to build new ships and airplanes and connect them all with a secure, electronic command-and-control network using common components. In recent years, the 50,000-strong Coast Guard has been buffeted by a rapidly aging […]

GROUP SLAMS SCANDALOUS NIGERIA JUSTICE SYSTEM — The state of Nigeria’s criminal justice system represents a complete failure of the Nigerian government to address the needs of its people and is a national disgrace, Amnesty International said in a report released Feb. 26. Amnesty investigations found that only 35 percent of those serving time in Nigerian prisons are there as a result of any semblance of due process. Mentally ill patients handed over to police by family members unable to care for them, accused individuals who have not formally been charged and relatives arrested in place of suspects police were […]

TOKYO — Recent reports that Japanese lawmakers have been discussing the feasibility of constructing a 200-kilometer tunnel linking Japan with the Korean peninsula encapsulates as well as anything the current optimism over relations between the two countries. Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda visited Seoul to attend the inauguration of incoming South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, with Fukuda taking the symbolic honor of being the first foreign leader to be received by the new president. At the summit, the two leaders agreed to restart the regular top level shuttle diplomacy that was agreed under former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro […]

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