Thursday, March 25, 2010

FP morning post 3/25

U.S. and Russia close to new nuclear deal

Top news: The United States and Russia have reportedly made a breakthrough in negotiations for a new nuclear-arms reduction treaty and are hopeful that the new treaty can be signed next month. Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will speak on Friday to discuss final details and some technical fixes still need to be worked out, but both sides say a deal is very close. The Czech government has agreed to host a signing ceremony on April 8 to mark the anniversary of Obama's speech in Prague in which he promoted his vision for a nuclear weapons-free world. A formal announcement will not be made until after Obama and Medvedev's conversation.

The new deal would replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991 which expired in December.It would reportedly require each side to reduce its number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 and launchers to 800 over the next seven years.Negotiations over the new treaty had been frustratingly slow at times, and were nearly put on hold over Russian objections to a new U.S. missile defense system in the Balkans.

The Obama administration will still likely face a tough ratification fight over the treaty in the senate, where it will require 67 votes to pass.

Church scandal: The New York Times reports that during the 1990s, top Vatican officials -- including future Pope Benedict XVI -- declined to defrock a priest in Wisconsin who had molested as many as 200 deaf boys.

Middle East
  • Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 100 people accused of planning terrorist attacks .
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is hopeful that a compromise can be reached on East Jerusalem housing.
  • Dubai's government is bailing out its Dubai World investment company with $9.5 billion.
  • Staffan de Misturan, the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, met with representatives of the country's second-largest militant group.
  • Pakistani authorities are struggling to prevent a dam burst that could affect more than 50,000 people.
  • Amnesty international accused Malaysia of migrant worker abuse.
  • Before heading to an EU summit on the issue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will insist the IMF be involved in any bailout of Greece.
  • The British government presented its pre-election budget.
  • Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has formed a new political party to challenge President Nicholas Sarkozy.
  • Barack Obama is asking congress for$2.8 billion in post-earthquake aid for Haiti.
  • A car bombing in the Colombian port town of Buenaventura killed at least nine people.
  • For the first time, El Salvador publicly commemorated the killing of Archbishop Oscar Romero 30 years ago.
  • Human Rights Watch accused Ethiopia of waging a sustained attack on its political opposition in the run-up to elections in May.
  • Acting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will meet with former rebel leaders from the Niger Delta.
  • Zimbabwe will appoint a committee aimed at normalizing relations with the European Union.
-By Joshua Keating

Epsilon/Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think it symbolizes?