Radio Netherlands

Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) is the Dutch international public broadcaster. RNW works to promote free speech around the world focusing on countries at the lower end of the Freedom House Press Freedom Index. RNW is working independently and with media partners producing multimedia content aimed at sparking discussion and introducing people in a non-judgmental way to information that is lacking in their local media. www.rnw.nl

19.08.2009

No new West Bank settlements until 2010

Israel has promised to build no new settlements on the West Bank until the beginning of 2010. The Israeli government says the decision should be seen as a gesture towards the United States. US President Barack Obama reacted positively to the offer, which he described as “a step in the right direction”. He hinted that he now expects a similar gesture from the Palestinians. »

19.08.2009

African arbitration: Eritrea ordered to pay Ethiopia millions

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ordered Eritrea to pay neighbouring Ethiopia seven million euros in compensation for damage inflicted on each other during the war between 1998 and 2000. The international tribunal said it specified the extra money because Eritrea had begun the conflict. Both countries have agreed to the ruling. »

19.08.2009

Honduras breaks ties with Argentina

The new Honduran regime has severed diplomatic ties with Argentina in response to the expulsion last week of Honduran ambassador to Buenos Aires, Carmen Eleonora Ortez Williams, because of her support for the military coup. A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is currently in Honduras to investigate mistreatment of Zelaya’s supporters. »

18.08.2009

Afghans go to elections with increasing need for Reconciliation between parties

The election campaigns in Afghanistan have ended with mass rallies by a number of presidential candidates. Actual President Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah lead the polls. To gain support of the Ayatollahs and Uzbek voters, Karzai approved a law against women’s right to refuse sexual demand of husbands and allowed the return of Abdul Rashid Dostum. »

17.08.2009

Moluccan exiles will settle for autonomy

The new president of the Moluccan government-in-exile says an independent Moluccan state is no longer its absolute priority. In an interview with the Nederlands Dagblad, John Wattilete says he is prepared to place the future of the islands in the hands of the people and if they no longer wish to fight for independence from Indonesia then "he would accept the consequences". »

17.08.2009

North Korea opens border for family visits

North Korea's KCNA state press agency says the border has been re-opened for family visits from South Korea. The move is an important gesture at a time of rising tension between the two countries. North Korea has also announced that the whole country is on high alert because of joint military exercises taking place between the United States and South Korea. »

17.08.2009

Swiss army cuts

Switzerland wants to reduce its army by one third within the next 12 years. Swiss Minister of Defence, Ueli Maurer said there are currently 120,000 professional Swiss soldiers and that that number must come down to 80,000. The number of reservists must also shrink from 80,000 to 40,000. Switzerland wants to place more emphasis on humanitarian missions to foreign countries. »

15.08.2009

New Israel-Kurd magazine surprises Arab world

The new magazine ‘Israel-Kurd’ has caused a stir in northern Iraq. To the surprise of many in the Arab world, the second edition also recently made it into the kiosks. A third edition expected for september. Kurdish Iraq is increasingly positioning itself between Israel and the Arab world. It is known that the late Kurdish leader Moustafa Barzani made two visits to Israel. »

13.08.2009

Former junta members sentenced in Argentina

In Argentina, more former army officers have been found guilty of crimes committed under the military dictatorship. Former general Santiago Omar Riveros, who commanded the infamous Campo de Mayo barracks, received the heaviest sentence. The junta led by General Leopolde Galtieri ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, during which time at least 30,000 people disappeared. »

13.08.2009

North Korea frees South Korean factory worker

North Korea has freed a South Korean factory worker who was arrested in March for insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The man was detained at a joint factory site situated just over the border in North Korea. The release of the factory worker is the first goodwill gesture Pyongyang has made to South Korea since conservative President Lee Myung-bak came to power. »

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