UN Nuclear Chief Amano to Stand for Another Term
Reuters – September 26, 2012
United Nations nuclear agency chief Yukiya Amano, a key figure in international diplomacy over Iran’s disputed nuclear activity, will seek a new four-year term next year, the Vienna-based organisation said on Wednesday.
Iran Pushes Ahead in Building Nuclear Reactor
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – September 26, 2012
Iran appears to be making headway in building a research reactor that could yield potential nuclear weapon material, adding to Western concerns about Tehran’s atomic aims, experts and diplomats say.
The West’s worries about Iran are focused largely on underground uranium enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow, but it is also pressing ahead with construction of a heavy-water reactor near the town of Arak, which analysts say could produce plutonium for nuclear arms if the spent fuel is reprocessed.
AP Interview: Ahmadinejad Pushes New World Order
Christopher Chester, AP – September 26, 2012
After an hour of fielding questions about Syria, sanctions and nuclear weapons, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had enough. Now, he said, it was his turn to choose the topic — his “new order” which will inevitably replace the current era of what he called U.S. bullying. Continuing his hectic pace of media appearances and diplomatic meetings, Ahmadinejad presented an air of boredom when it came to the hot topic on everyone’s mind — Iran’s nuclear program and the possibility of impending war.
North Korea Farmers to Test Regime Appetite for Reform
Carol J. Williams, LA Times – September 26, 2012
North Korea’s communist leadership is now reported by recent visitors to be experimenting with smaller-sized farming cooperatives and incentives for expanding food production by letting farmers keep and sell more of what they grow. The dilemma faced by the Pyongyang regime, say academics who scrutinize the hermetic state, is whether opening the agricultural sector will rescue the economy, as it did in China, or whet North Koreans’ appetite for more opportunity and political choice, thereby bringing down one-party rule, as it did in the Soviet Union.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION NEWS
In the Face of GOP Criticism, Addressing Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges
PBS – September 25, 2012
Discussion between Gwen Ifill, former U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns, and Council on Foreign Relations’ Richard Hass concerning President Obama’s foreign policy following his speech at the United Nations yesterday.
Foreign Affairs: Romney, Obama Play the Same Defense
Michael O’Hanlon, Statesman Journal – September 25, 2012
The new turmoil in the Middle East, including the recent killing of our U.S. ambassador in Libya, has raised the profile, and the rhetoric, on foreign policy and national security in the presidential race. But an examination of two central issues in the race, proper levels of U.S. military spending and the use of military force, suggests a more nuanced and intelligent debate between the two men.
Alvarez: America’s Own Nuclear Weapon Problem
Robert Alvarez, September 25, 2012
The government can’t simply bury its uranium-233 problem. If you knew that more than 200 pounds of nuclear bomb material may be missing from government nuclear facilities in the United States, would that worry you? Recently, three activists, including an 82-year-old nun, broke past the barriers of one of the world’s largest and most modern nuclear explosive storage facilities. But long before that incident, a little-known nuclear security problem was festering at a nearby 69-year-old building – the site of enough bomb-grade uranium to fuel dozens of nuclear weapons.
A Victory for Common Sense on Nuclear Weapons
William Hartung, Huffington Post – September 25, 2012
Most Americans aren’t expecting much out of Washington these days, given the prevalence of partisan gridlock and the power of special interest money. But positive action is possible even in this climate, as evidenced by the recent decision to zero out funding for an unneeded, overpriced plutonium facility that was slated to be built in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Obama’s Address to the United Nations
Helene Cooper, New York Times – September 25, 2012
President Obama on Tuesday used his last major address on a global stage before the November election to deliver a strong defense of America’s belief in freedom of speech, challenging fledgling Arab and North African democracies to ensure that right even in the face of violence. The speech was in many ways a balancing act for Mr. Obama, who has had to contend with angry anti-American demonstrations throughout the Middle East during the past several weeks, and a Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who says the president has projected weakness in his foreign policy.