Archivio mensile:febbraio 2010

Iran indicates openness to UN-backed uranium processing plan

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has said that his government is ready to send the bulk of its low-enriched uranium abroad for processing in exchange for nuclear fuel rods.

In an interview with Iranian state television, he also said that Tehran has the capacity to enrich its own uranium if the shipped supply is not returned.

Last year Tehran in effect turned down the proposal to hand over its uranium supply in exchange for nuclear fuel.

The US says Iran should inform the International Atomic Energy Agency if it is ready to now take the deal.


Indonesia farmers fear China free trade fallout

A free trade deal between China and the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) comes into affect this year.

The government Indonesia, which is part of Asean, says removing barriers and ensuring easy cross border trade will help grow the domestic economy.

But many workers are worried they will not be able to compete against a flood of Chinese products and Indonesian farmers, especially, worry that they will soon be out of jobs as consumers choose cheaper Chinese produce.

Thousands of workers have taken to the streets calling for parts of the trade pact to be delayed.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Cipanas in West Java.


Dead Sea shrinks and land sinks

The Dead Sea in Jordan is shrinking at an alarming rate, causing some 3,000 massive sinkholes to spread along the coasts of the sea, and with many more expected to come.

The sea has shrunk by a third since the 1960s when its major water source – the River Jordan – was diverted for upstream projects in Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Now, the projects have backfired for many residents and farmers that live or work near the sea, as the once verdant and fertile land is become increasingly barren.

And the fact that the ground can open up at any time and swallow whatever in its path is a deepening problem for many.

From Ghor Al Haditha, a farm village, Nisreen el Shamayleh reports.


Haiti’s ‘orphans’ easy prey post-quake

A Haitian judge is expected to rule today whether there is sufficient evidence to try the 10 jailed American missionaries for child trafficking.

They were arrested for trying to bring 33 children they believed were orphans out of the earthquake-hit country.

The children, whose ages ranged from 2 months to 12 years, are now staying in a temporary home.

Haitian officials have given warning that child traffickers could take advantage of the chaos after the quake.

The 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12 killed 170,000 people, made more than one million homeless and left many children vulnerable in Haiti.

Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull reports from Port-au-Prince on how orphans are easy prey for child traffickers.