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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Peaceful Nuclear Rights

Aziz: Stop discrimination in N-rights
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 04:17:46
The Economic Times

Pakistan's PM says all countries have the right to access nuclear technology.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says all of the world countries should exercise equal rights to peaceful nuclear technology.

In an apparent reference to a nuclear pact between India and the US, Shaukat Aziz said there should be no discrimination in developing nuclear technology.

Under the pact, New Delhi will get access to US nuclear technology, despite the fact that it is not an NPT signatory state. The US has repeatedly ruled out a similar nuclear deal with Pakistan.

Pakistan's Prime Minister reiterated that his country is duty-bound to meet its energy needs through all available means including nuclear technology and revealed that the construction of more nuclear reactors is underway in Pakistan.

He said all countries have the right to develop and use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, under appropriate safeguards.

Thailand to build first N-plant

Tue, 04 Sep 2007 03:58:47
The Times of India
Energy-hungry Thailand is planning to construct its first nuclear power plant.

Thailand is to build its first nuclear power plant over the next decade in a bid to cope with a looming power shortage, a top official said.

"The construction of the first nuclear power plant will take between 10 to 15 years and we are seeking 200 nuclear experts to help us," Thailand's Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said.

Thailand's largest energy company will invest six billion dollars in the project, which is expected to be operational in 2020.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has said the planned nuclear facility would produce 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

Thailand heavily relies on natural gas for electricity production with 70 percent of the electricity needs being met from natural gas. The rest is coming from oil, coal and hydropower.

One third of the natural gas consumed in Thailand is imported, mainly from neighboring Myanmar, and EGAT sees nuclear power as a stable energy source due to worries over a future hike in natural gas and oil prices.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lebanon opposition gives up condition

Sun, 02 Sep 2007 09:03:48
Source: Reuters

Nabih Berri, Parliament Speaker and leader of al-Amal party

Lebanon's opposition has dropped its demand for a national unity government ahead of an upcoming presidential election, Nabih Berri says.

Lebanon's opposition has dropped a condition for its participation in an upcoming presidential election in parliament, said the opposition figure Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri .

The opposition, which includes pro-Syrian Shia Muslim Hezbollah and Berri's Amal group, had demanded a new national unity government with an opposition veto and a consensus presidential candidate as conditions for attending the vote, where its MPs are needed to make it valid.

"Let us come together to approve presidential elections on the basis of consensus and a two-thirds majority ... the opposition does not want a (national unity) government before the elections," Berri said.

Berri's announcement gave some ground in a political conflict with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's US-backed anti-Syrian government that has paralyzed Lebanon since November.

The constitution says parliament should meet on September 25 to elect a replacement for pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term expires at midnight on November 23. Opposition MPs are needed at the vote for a two-thirds quorum to be met.

Siniora's supporters have prioritized replacing Lahoud with someone independent of Syria ever since Syrian troops left Lebanon in 2005 after the killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

But Hezbollah is equally determined to keep the presidency out of the hands of political adversaries that are believed to be controlled by Washington, and little progress has been made on appointing a compromise presidential candidate.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Amnesty defends Muslim Brotherhood

Sat, 01 Sep 2007 02:31:17
Sources: Agencies

The Muslim Brotherhood aims to bring Islamic law to Egypt.
Amnesty International (AI) has expressed great concern over the arrest of two Egyptian lawmakers from the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

"Amnesty International is deeply greatly concerned by the recent arrests, detention and prosecution on terrorism-related charges of leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, apparently because of their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of association and assembly," it said in a statement.

The brotherhood has been banned since 1954, and more than 400 of its members, including four leading activists, have been jailed in a recent clampdown by security agencies.

The group is Egypt's most potent opposition group and describes itself as a moderate Islamic organization that wants to bring Islamic law to Egypt. Under recent controversial constitutional amendments, no political party is allowed in Egypt that is religion based.

The Muslim Brotherhood has 88 seats in Egypt's 454-member legislature.

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