Despite welcoming the change of tone in US foreign policy towards Iran, Iran’s president demanded an apology for past US “crimes” committed against Iran.
“Those who speak of change must apologise to the Iranian people and try to repair their past crimes,” Mahmoud Ahmadenajad said.
In his first interview with a foreign media outlet – Al-Arabiya television – President Barack Obama promised to extend the hand of American diplomacy to Tehran if the regime froze its nuclear programme.
And the new UN envoy Susan Rice said that “Vigorous diplomacy with Iran” is a top priority for the Obama administration. So, Is Iran the key to Middle East peace?
Each for their own
WTO chief Pascal Lamy said rich countries’ bailouts could harm developing states. Mr Lamy, said that protectionism as a “go-it-alone solution . . . does not work” and that that bailouts ran the risk of putting developing countries at a disadvantage. He added:
“… look at that from the side of developing countries who, by definition, cannot afford big bailout packages simply because they don’t have the money — let’s not make a system . . . more development-averse.”
His comments came as Lord Mandelson, the British Business Secretary, unveiled a £2.3 billion state support package for beleaguered car manufacturers here in the UK. Lord Mandelson however insisted that this is not a bailout.
Is protectionism doing more harm than good to the global economy, should your country protect its own industries regardless of the effect it will have on international trade?
Why should we respect religion?
A very interesting articleby Johann Hari where he argues the right to criticise religion is diminishing even in the UN where envoys from Muslim countries on numerous occasions have stopped any questioning of practices they said were based on religious beliefs. In his article Johann says:
“You have an absolute right to voice your beliefs – but the price is that I too have a right to respond as I wish. Neither of us can set aside the rules and demand to be protected from offence.”
Is religion being put on a pedestal? Is respecting religion another way of saying don’t talk about what makes others uncomfortable? If so should we respect religion?
And, How much should you be “acknowledged” for your pain?
A government appointed committee has recommended that relatives of those murdered during the Troubles should be paid to acknowledge their pain and loss. The families could receive up to £12,000 for their loss.
The money would also be paid if the victims were themselves murderers, opening up the prospect of the families of active Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries killed ‘in action’ will also receive payments.
Lindy McDowell argues in the Belfast Telegraph that the notion of the compensation is offensive immoral and counterproductive. She says
“The proposal from the Consultative Group on the Past amounts to yet another multi-million pound helping of salt being rubbed into the wounds of the very victims the Group claims it aims to help.”
What do you think? Should victims’ families be paid for their loss?