World News Bullets
Saturday, November 23, 2013
- Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan announced Friday that he would not sign a bilateral security agreement with the US, which would allow coalition troops to stay in the country beyond 2014, until the spring, in an announcement which took the White House by surprise. The announcement increased tensions in the increasingly rocky relationship between the two countries, as Afghanistan's Loya Jirga considers the security agreement.
- Syria - The New Islamic Front emerged on Friday as a consolidation of seven groups previously independently fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The formation of the new group, which may now be the largest rebel group in Syria, strengthens the vision of an ultimately Islamic state in the Levant. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, meanwhile, is struggling logistically to transport the countries chemical munitions out of the country for destruction.
- Iran - Iran's foreign minister today said that the ongoing negotiations in Geneva concerning Iran's nuclear program and international sanctions, have entered a difficult phase. Signs indicate that Iran and its European, Russian, and American counterparts may not be successful in reaching an agreement, despite the intervention of US Secretary of State John Kerry for the second time in as many weeks.
- China - The Chinese Minister of Defense announced that China will establish an Air Defense Zone around the contested islands in the East China Sea, which Japan also lays claim to. Japan strongly condemned the announcement regarding the island, which is known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. The announcement by China will likely cause increased tension in the disputed region.
- Egypt - Following Turkey Prime Ministers Erdogan's loud criticism of Egypt's post Morsi government, Egypt downgraded its diplomatic relationship with Turkey, a move that will likely sever all diplomatic ties between the two governments.
- Pakistan - Preliminary reports indicate that at least seven have been killed and 18 injured as a result of two explosions in a largely Shia'a neighborhood of the port city of Karachi. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
- North Korea - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has confirmed to American diplomats its detention of an unidentified American citizen.
- Latvia - More than 54 people have been declared dead as the result of a roof collapse in a supermarket in Riga-the search for victims continues.
- Philippines - The death toll has reached 5,200 from typhoon Haiyan which struck the country two weeks ago.